After an antigay statement made by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy lead to a boycott of the company, Chick-fil-A claims that it set new sales records on what was called "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." The event took place on Aug. 2 and was create by conservative politician Mike Huckabee, who took offense to what he sees as an attack on free speech.
Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing Steve Robinson has said the company "can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," according to CNN. The sales numbers have not yet been released.
Fox News, where Huckabee is a host, reports that Chick-fil-A officials released a statement on Thursday morning saying they were ""grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1." Local Chick-fil-As were packed with people rallying against what Huckabee called "economic bullying."
"It's gone beyond anything I could have imagined," said Huckabee in response to the turnout. The former Arkansas governor went on to say that "a lot of the stores ran out of chicken before the end of the day," due to the abnormally high volume of customers.
"Actually I don't think the chickens were too happy about the day," Huckabee joked. "They really gave their lives in mass numbers."
Along with the chickens, activists for gay rights are taking issue with Chick-fil-A's big day. Groups are planning a "kiss-in" according to Fox News, where gay and lesbian couples are planning to exchange affections with one another in Chick-fil-A restaurants.
On the Facebook page for the event, over 669 thousand people are listed under "attending." Facebook user Jennie Barfield wrote in the comments section, "I think that Christians standing up together to defend their beliefs goes beyond meaningful!"
Toby Wood, an openly gay Facebook user left a comment on the page addressing his concerns with the event. Wood said, "I always assumed that most Americans were just ignorant of the fight for equality because it did not affect them, but after today my eyes were opened to the hate that is really out there."
The event was created when several politicians, including the Mayor of Boston and a Chicago Alderman said they would try to stop the development of Chick-fil-As in their respective jurisdictions in response to Cathy's anti-gay remarks. Cathy said "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit." In an interview with the Baptist Press.