Have you heard? Today is Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a stunt invented by Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mike Huckabee, in which Americans eat delicious chicken sandwiches to protest gay marriage or defend free speech (depending on who you ask). And people participated in droves — that photo above was posted on Twitter by @buckglenn, who said it was taken in Thornton, Colo. — probably because eating delicious chicken sandwiches (there's a pickle inside) is a lot more enticing a method of protest than, say, using a McDonalds bathroom for weeks while you camp in a city park.
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This all started after Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy made some comments earlier this month supporting "the biblical definition of the family unit" -- that is, with a man and a woman at the helm. Then, of course, the restaurant instantly became a political symbol, with everyone from the Muppets to the mayor of Boston trying to distance themselves from it, and others, such as Sarah Palin and Pat Boone (that's him at right in Hollywood, per his Twitter), trying to show the chain as much love as possible. Chick-fil-A supporters now say it's a First Amendment issue, with Cathy getting unfairly "crucified" (that's Palin's word) by politicians and the press for his simply stating his views. (Necessary constitutional law caveat: the First Amendment bars the government from prohibiting free speech.) So Chick-fil-A day was sort of an anti-boycott, in response to calls for an actual boycott. Got it? It's a goofy idea, but people really got into it, if the crowd photos coming out on Twitter and Facebook are any indication. For those just dropping by for an apolitical Wednesday lunch, however, it must have been a nightmare.
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Huckabee put his visit to a shop in Destin, FL, on his Facebook page.
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Phoenix, Arizona, radio host Mike Broomhead shared this line-out-the-door shot via Twitpic:
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In North Carolina, a whole bunch of Chick-Fil-A supporters crowded onto the restaurant's patio, per this photo from NBC's Liz McLaughlan. Why didn't any of them sit on that grass?
The police had to get involved in a few cases to direct traffic, according to many Twitter people.
At— Paul Chitwood (@DrPaulChitwood) August 1, 2012
#Chick-fil-A in Richmond where, in mid afternoon, the drive thru laps the store 2x and a cop is directing traffic!
It looked something like this, from Huckabee's Facebook:
But in the end, the message was kind of convoluted, a point Slate's Dave Weigel made with a tongue-in-cheek tweet:
I ate all this chicken for nothing???! RT— daveweigel (@daveweigel) August 1, 2012
@tpm: Obama's birth control mandate takes effect: tpm.ly/MziIq8