CORDOVA, TN (abc24.com) - It's a political food fight and it backed up streets across the Mid-South Wednesday. Chick-fil-A is catching flak for its President's stance against gay marriage. Many in the gay and lesbian community are boycotting the fast food giant but others are jamming the restaurants and the roads around them, showing their support.
Fast food was anything but at Chick-Fil-A's across the Mid-South. Cars backed up miles down busy roads for Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. Chris Smith was happy to wait, "It's been slammed all over the city." Others described the traffic as "bumper to bumper."
Brittany Patterson was impressed with the crowds, "I'm part of history, being an activist."
Patterson was willing to wait through large crowds and long lines at the Cordova restaurant to make her political statement heard. "I agree with his stand," Patterson says, "Everyone, whether they believe in homosexuality or not should be able to speak their opinion without being beat down."
Amy Eoff took her three kids to the restaurant to show them freedom of speech in action, "Whether or not I agree with the owner doesn't matter, we have the freedom to express ourselves."
People spent their entire lunch breaks standing up with Chick-fil-A, but the freedom of speech display hasn't come without costs. Jad Davis went to the Chick-fil-A at Wolfchase Mall earlier in the day, "There was so much hate," he says, "There was so much hate."
Davis tried to lead a peaceful protest to the flocks of fast food crowds, "I had a sign that said, 'Jesus was about love,'" he says, "I didn't want to fight hate with hate, I wanted to fight hate with love." However, he was met with aggression, "All it did was get me yelled at by the police and the mall security, they were rude."
William Batts is the executive director of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, he says, "That's their right to support what they believe in. It's the right of the CEO to say we support a specific form of marriage," he continues, "On the other hand it's the right of people who support equality to say we support equality and won't support Chick-fil-A because of their stand." Batts says he won't give his money to an organization that works against his family.
Smith says, "We're here to take our stand today, we believe Chick-fil-A is right, we believe with him 100 percent."
On Friday, members of the gay and lesbian community are organizing their own protest, sharing a same sex kiss inside Chick-Fil-A restaurants. It's a food fight turned culture war that's just getting started.