County Councilman Jerry Walker (R-7th District) and Republican Congressional candidate Faith Loudon both plan to eat at Chick-fil-A locations Wednesday to show their support for the company's recent public stance on same-sex marriage.
"I will be eating lunch at Chick-fil-A today because I agree with their position on the issue of marriage," Walker told Patch. "The threats to block Chick-fil-A expansion by politicians is interesting in light of the fact that this same group preaches 'tolerance.' I guess their 'tolerance' extends only to those who share their beliefs."
The Capital Gazzette reported that Loudon plans to show her support for Chick-fil-A by eating at at least three area restaurants today.
The fast food chain made national headlines earlier this month when its president, Dan Cathy, publicly condemned gay marriage.
"I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about," Cathy said in an interview with the Baptist Press.
The Chick-fil-A in Edgewater gave Patch the company's national statement, that said, "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender ... Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
The Edgewater location's owner, Michael Edmonds, was unavailable to discuss his restaurant's business on Wednesday's "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."
Reaction from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates and bloggers soon created a media firestorm. Republican Mike Huckabee waded into the debate by starting a Facebook group to support Chick-fil-A that has swelled to more than 500,000 members. The group called on people to support the restaurant chain by eating at a local Chick-fil-A on Wednesday.
Gay marriage supporters created their own counter demonstration called Same Sex Kiss-ups, which are planned nationwide for Friday.
Patch interviewed an official with the Chesapeake Pride Festival in Edgewater who said they did not plan on getting involved with the counter demonstration.
The Baltimore Sun reported on a Facebook conversation that started as a few friends from Maryland and mushroomed into more than 6,000 people pledging $6.50—the average cost of a Chick-fil-A meal—to groups who support gay rights.
Maryland voters this November will decide the issue of gay marriage themselves after opponents gathered enough signatures to send Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D-MD) law allowing same-sex unions to referendum.
Loudon and her suppporers will meet at 534 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park at 11 a.m before heading to the following Chick-fil-A locations on Wednesday:
3600 Baltimore Ave. in Laurel, some time after Severna Park
3366 Corridor Market Place in Laurel, after Baltimore Avenue
8110 Jumpers Hole Road in Pasadena, sign waving from 4:30 to 6 p.m.