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Chick-fil-A Protests: Have They Gone Too Far?

Claudine Zap

It seems that a sandwich has become the target of partisan political debate. Ever since Dan Cathy, the president of chicken restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, voiced his opposition to gay marriage, opinions about the company have caused a lot of indigestion.

Adam Smith, then the CFO of a medical supply firm, created a wave of interest on the Web when he posted a video of himself berating a Chick-fil-A worker at a drive-through window in Tucson, Ariz. Smith, who said he "just couldn't stand all the hate," wasn't exactly showing his sweet side.

Smith tells the employee, who offers him free water and wishes him a nice day, "I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better." Smith's employer, Vante, was not impressed, stating in a press release that Smith no longer works for the company.

Overnight, a Chick-fil-A in Torrance, Calif., was vandalized with the spray-painted message "Tastes like hate" in advance of today's "National Same-Sex Kiss Day."

Some gay activists have encouraged same-sex couples to document themselves smooching at the restaurant chain's locations.

This comes after Wednesday's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, organized by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, which brought out tens of thousands to wait in long lines and, Chick-fil-A confirmed, resulted in a "record-setting day" for the business.

Mayors in Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco have rolled up the welcome mat to the chain, and in Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised his city for its "vibrant" LGBT community.

New York City's Michael Bloomberg, on the other hand, a supporter of gay marriage, said on his radio show Friday that it is not appropriate for government "to look at somebody's political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city."

Twitter was abuzz from all the activity. As helpbydonating (@ithas2besaid) noted, "If you want to protest these mayors who banned Chick-fil-A, that's one thing. But if you want to defend the constitution, defend all of it." Richard Penney (@RichardPenney) weighed in, saying, "If you don't like Chick-fil-A don't go there. If you do, go there. But banning the business because you disagree w/ the CEO? Fascist."

On the other hand, all the chatter about chicken sandwiches simply seems to be making some people hungry. Coraline Jones (@kaylacurtsinger) posted, "The more y'all keep talking about Chick-fil-A, the more I crave it."

Sometimes, a sandwich is just a sandwich.