Gay rights organizations have declared Friday to be "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" in response to Wednesday's "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," where social conservatives had a national "eat-in" at the popular fast food chain to caste their support company CEO Dan Cathy's comments regarding his opposition to gay marriage.
"In honor of their support for love, equality, and the real definition of family, we're holding a NATIONAL Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick Fil A's around the country. So grab a friend (or 20) and head out to your nearest Chick Fil A!" says a message on the Tumblr blog set up to collect images from the demonstration scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Many of the participants of Wednesday's eat-in also perceive this to be a free speech issue after Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, threatened to ban the restaurant chain from opening any more stores in the city.
"Chick-fil-A doesn't belong in Boston. You can't have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We're an open city, we're a city that's at the forefront of inclusion," the mayor told the Boston Herald in an interview published July 19.
It took the mayor about a week to realize he had opened a free-speech Pandora's Box by suggesting a city could ban a franchise over the comments of its CEO; he backtracked after public outcry and criticisms from law experts and Christian civil rights organizations. In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stopped short of declaring he would ban the company, but his comments were viewed as antagonistic to the city's existing Chick-fil-A franchise owners who said they could be financially harmed by the city's remarks.
"We are a family with deep Chicago roots - my husband and I both came from city worker families (teachers, police, laborers) and Steve is a city worker," said Lauren Silic, owner of a Chick-fil-A franchise near downtown Chicago, in a recent letter to the mayor.
The company, which is privately held so is not compelled to release earnings data, claims Wednesday was a record day for sales.
"We are very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy had said in an interview with Baptist Press. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
The issue of gay marriage goes beyond church recognition; without state recognition of same sex unions, gays/lesbians are denied basic rights afforded to married heterosexuals, such as hospital visitation, adoption and company health insurance coverage extended to spouses.
Further, So called traditional marriage, even in Christian times, has changed over the centuries. For example, while in the New Testament Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18 both cite Jesus as saying anyone who re-marries after a divorce is committing adultery, all but the most devout to the literal word of the Scripture do not consider fornication in a second marriage to be adultery. In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy provides colorful instructions on dowry. Genesis requires widows to marry the brothers of their deceased husbands, who must procreate with their new wives.
However, save for a few denominations, the recognition of marriage as a heterosexual bond between a man and woman has not changed in the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.