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Prepping for Sept. 20 Chick-Fil-A Protest

Gay rights demonstrators cite comments by president of chicken restaurant company; Chick-fil-A due to open Sept. 20 on North Main Street.

Gay rights and civil rights activists are making plans for a peaceful protest Thursday, Sept. 20, in Walnut Creek at the planned opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant on North Main Street.

At issue are statements by the president of Chick-fil-A about support for the traditional definition of marriage.

"The last line of our 'Pledge of Allegiance' closes with these six words: 'with Liberty and Justice for All,'" wrote activist Ken Richard of Walnut Creek in an email. "It is unfortunate that freedom and civil rights are not provided to all people of America.  That is why we are involved and why we are engaged, to bring about a world that works for everyone …

"We are protesting on Sept. 20  to make the public aware that the chain's president, Dan Cathy, is in opposition to same-sex marriage and that the dollars that you spend at Chick-fil-A are being sent to anti-gay organizations. We encourage everyone to boycott this fast food restaurant."

Cathy, in an interview with The Baptist Press, said, "We are very much supportive of the family--the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

Since then, Chick-fil-A issued a statement July 19 that "going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," according to the website of the Baptist Press.

Northern California move

Chick-fil-A is making moves in Northern California, with plans to open restaurants in Sunnyvale, Santa Rosa and Walnut Creek. In Walnut Creek, a Chick-fil-A with drive-through service is part of a big construction project with a new 24-Hour Fitness at 2750 N. Main St.

Plans for the Sept. 20 protest are being made on a Facebook page, "Picket Chick Fil A opening in Walnut Creek."

Georgia-based Chick-fil-A has a reputation as a fundamentally Christian company and insists on closing all of its locations on Sundays so employees can go to church.

A recent piece in the Huffington Post noted Northern California resistance to Chick-Fil-A, including a strong stand by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Federal rights

"I have been with my husband Steve for the past 25 years, and we were legally married four years ago," said Walnut Creek activist Richard. "We currently have the same rights and responsibilities as our heterosexual friends and family members in the great state of California.  What we do not have is the 1,000-plus federal rights (like filing federal taxes jointly, social security spousal benefits, etc...) that opposite sex couples currently are granted by our federal government."

TallTony January 02, 2013 at 09:34 AM
Could you be specific about when the Catholic Church acted against your right to eat food from Chick-Fil-A?
TallTony January 02, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Bob, it's a good thing that Chick-Fil-A has better quality food than most fast-food chains. Please note that business names don't have to be grammatical, just memorable.
TallTony January 02, 2013 at 09:41 AM
While I'm sure the company supports your right to free speach, the difference is that Chick-Fil-A is not promoting a boycott of the businesses where you and your spouse are executives. However, if you want to take your business elsewhere, Bon Apetit! I remember Chow in Lafayette has delicious food too!
TallTony January 02, 2013 at 09:42 AM
"You have the support of the Atheist Community." Good to hear you guys believe in something...
Carolyn Phinney January 02, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Josh, you have the right to eat there and those of us who believe in equal rights for every human being have the right to protest their corporate behavior. No one is violating your rights. One does not have to have a specific sexual preference to be a protestor. Nor does one have to be liberal. Human rights activists come in all creeds, sexual orientations, and political persuasions.

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