The in Chesterfield Valley was mobbed with customers Wednesday from 8:30am and throughout the day in support of the chain's corporate stance on a definition of marriage.
The chain of fast-food chicken restaurants gives money to groups working against proposed same-gender marriage rights. Recently, company COO Dan Cathy described his definition of marriage as Bible-based, and traditional.
Nationwide, others claim such a definition of marriage is discriminatory for same-gender relationships.
However, in Chesterfield Wednesday, Patch found many Chick-fil-A customers said their support for the restaurant was not about gender, but about "religious freedom," "freedom of speech" and "Constitutional rights." Another said it was about "family values."
One couple (see photos) told Chesterfield Patch they drove 70 miles to buy lunch and show their support for the restaurant chain and what they said was religious freedom.
"We support the Constitution," the husband said. He did not give his name.
A grandson of U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, was with his mother Abby Akin, at the Chesterfield Chick-fil-A in support.
Todd Akin's press spokesman said in a text that Akin was helping serve at a Chick-fil-A in Liberty, MO on Wednesday.
Todd Akin wants to run for U.S. Senate in November against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, and is campaigning for the Republican nomination in the Primary Election next Tuesday, August 7.
"Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" on Aug. 1 was an event launched by Mike Huckabee, a FOX News commentator, former Arkansas governor, and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful.
Huckabee's Facebook page has many photos of crowded Chick-fil-A restaurants from across the nation. The event had tens of thousands of RSVPs on its Facebook site.
The recent controversy over same-sex marriage for the chain restaurants came about after a published interview by the company's CEO Dan Cathy, son of the chain's founder. Reportedly, he said: "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage'."
Chesterfield's Chick-fil-A store manager grinned over a question about whether the restaurant would run out of chicken, with the overwhelming customer response to "Appreciation Day."
"I'd better check the freezer," he said, and headed into the back room. He had three workers outside taking orders from drivers in an extra long drive-thru line.
The Culvers fast-food chain immediately next door had only a handful of customers eating lunch inside and watching the Olympics on the flatscreen TVs.
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