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Pass area residents among those in line at Redlands Chick-fil-A to Support Chain Exec's View on Marriage

People came from places including Beaumont, north San Bernardino, Highland, Yucaipa, and Indio to line up for chicken on Wednesday, which former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, had declared 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.'

Hundreds of people waited in long lines Wednesday at the Redlands Chick-fil-A on West Lugonia Avenue, and many did so to show solidarity with the chain president's recent statements opposing same-sex marriage.

"I came out to show support for Chick-fil-A," Frank Forsey, 69, of Highland said outside the crowded restaurant, where people on foot stood in the mid-afternoon sun and motorists waited in vehicles lined up on Lugonia to reach the drive-thru windows.

"They have been making comments that are not really what he said," Forsey said. "They just said he believed in marriage and so do I, and for that he's being condemned."

Gay rights groups and others have called for boycotts of Chick-fil-A since mid-July, when the chain's president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press his Atlanta-based company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family."

Lines at Chick-fil-A locations nationwide were in response to a message first posted on Facebook by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, who called on people to observe Aug. 1 as "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

Some said they came from as far away as Indio to show support for Chick-fil-A and Cathy's views.

"First of all the Bible says 'man and wife,'" Forsey said. "That's it. It also says His word does not change, forever until the end of time. So, if there's any argument, take it up with God. I'm going to support this establishment from now on."

Forsey, who attends Church of Christ in Yucaipa, said he waited about 45 minutes and it was worth it.

"I'd stand in line twice that long," Forsey said. "And the line was very long too. It must have had a couple hundred people in it."

Cheryl Lewis said she and her husband came from the north end of San Bernardino. They attend Packing House Cavalry Chapel in Redlands.

"My husband and I came out. We were here Thursday and we came again today because this was the day Fox News said to come out today to show support for the Bible version of marriage and for Sundays off, and the liberals are condemning him for that. So we're here to show support."

Greg Hans, 45, of Yucaipa, rode his bicycle from work on Base Line in Highland and he brought his two-wheeler inside the crowded restaurant to order.

"I am coming here to support Chick-fil-A and their view of marriage," said Hans, who attends Trinity Church in Redlands. "It's news right now. Chick-fil-A has been boycotted by people who believe that marriage should be between whoever and I believe the Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman.

"We support," Hans said. "I know it's become a political statement, but it's really more of a moral statement."

Wolf Clark, 53, and his wife, Rebecca, 47, of Yucaipa, came on Clark's 2006 Street Bob Harley-Davidson to add their support.

"We came to be a witness that God presented man and woman to be married, and He instituted the first marriage," Clark said. "I ride with Black Sheep Motorcycle Ministry, out of Murrieta. The founder is Marty Edwards, Slow Dogg."

Mimi Dupper of Redlands was at the end of the line Wednesday afternoon. She said it was her second time of the day eating at Chick-fil-A to show her support, and earlier in the day the line was twice as long, "to the end of this sidewalk."

Dupper said she goes to Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church, and she was in line with her daughter Kristi Debevec of Beaumont.

"This is my second time in line as well," Debevec said.

"We're just in favor of freedom of speech," Dupper said when asked why she stood in line twice in one day. "We are not protesting anything. We are supporting something."

A man named Pete said he brought his family all the way from Indio because the Redlands Chick-fil-A was the closest one to his home. He didn't want to give his last name, but he wore a T-shirt with "1791" on it.

"Freedom of speech, that's what 1791's all about," he said. "That's when the Bill of Rights was signed."

Some opponents of Cathy's stance plan to stage "Kiss Mor Chiks" on Friday, asking people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants and kiss each other, the Associated Press reported.

Greg M August 03, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Gary -- agreed. At a minimum, this whole argument has shown the overwhelming support for Cathy's willingness to stand on 2 feet for his principles. It has also made it much easier to pick out the stupid people in a crowd ... lol.
ATC August 03, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Not to mention providing Cathy & Chik-Fil-A a record setting sales day!
Roger Berg August 04, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I went to the Chick Fil-A in Moreno Valley with my family. We waited two hours to eat. It was great seeing all these folks support Freedom of Speech. I usually eat at Chick Filet at least once a week. The food is goo and you get great service from a friendly staff. This is something that is missing from a lot of our Fast Food Restaurants today. As the Mayor Beaumont I personnally would welcome a Chick Fil-A Restaurant is Beaumont. I would be a great addition. The comments by Gary and and Greg M are well written. I whole heartedly agree with everything said.
Charles Ferrell August 04, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I think the Chick-Fil-A deal was a free speech issue and Chick-Fil-A winds up the big winner. My wife and I drove by the one location in Redlands we know of on Aug. 1, and the line of cars for the drive-thru was backed up well down the street and there were at least 100 people in line outside the place waiting just to get inside. The call for the boycot was a free speech issue and the the call to support free speech and oppose the boycot was also a free speech issue. In the end, everybody got their say, and except for a bomb threat and some vandalism, there wasn't any violence. It was just a bunch of caring Americans practicing their free speech. This wasn't a "just in America" happening, but this is one of things America is all about and what I love so much about America. I much prefer the "I'm right, you're wrong" philosophy that was on display here vs. the "I'm right, you're stupid," talk one hears so much in media these days. The big winner was Chick-Fil-A which picked up a whole bunch of new customers, but the other big winner was America itself. Free speech works here. This is a prime example of how Americans respond to attacks on free speech.
Aquila Colobo August 04, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Berg the Bigot strikes again. Did you confront anybody on the street as you did in Beaumont? It' so thoughtful of you to invite this company to 'your' city based upon the controversial comments of one of its officials. Brilliant economic development strategy - I just wonder how many companies might pass up 'your' city based on the controversial comments of its narrow-minded, intolerant and grand-standing mayor.

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