Updated Aug. 4, 2012
Chick-fil-A usually never lacks for appreciation, and it got plenty in Suwanee on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, Aug. 1.
Several people who patronized one of the Suwanee locations of the restaurant chain Wednesday were aware of the controversy, and they indicated that the situation was a factor in their decision to come that day.
Patty Smith Hall said that Chick-fil-A and its atmosphere was a reason that she moved back to the Suwanee area from Michigan in 2009. "It's the only place I can get sweet tea," she said.
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Of course, she is aware of the same-sex marriage controversy that has surrounded Chick-fil-A recently, which prompted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to set up a Facebook page proclaiming it Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. That was to support the view of marriage espoused by company executive Dan Cathy.
Chick-fil-A long has touted biblical principles as a cornerstone of its business philosophy. For instance, company restaurants always are closed on Sunday, so that employees do not have to work on that day.
"No one should be forced into political correctness because of the way the majority feels," Hall said of Cathy's stance. "... It's part of freedom of speech."
Roger Stanton, a regular patron of the Moore Road restaurant, said it was a "false controversy."
Stanton labeled himself a "live and let live person ... but not when it comes to undermining institutions that have been around for centuries." He said he does not support gay marriage, but has "no objection" to civil unions.
"The issue is primarily about free speech."
Donna Schmid, who was dining with husban David, said she "appreciates (Chick-fil-A) standards."
"What difference does (the company's beliefs) make? It's a business decision."
Brad Williams, a manager at the Moore Road restaurant, said the company expected a sales bump Wednesday because of the so-called Appreciation Day.
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