Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" as many consumers showed their support for the company's president and his stance against gay marriage.
Many consumers boycotted the fast food chicken restaurant for just the opposite reason, and the controversy spilled over into the tri-state area.
"Thanks for choosing Chick-fil-a," could be heard all day, with overflow crowds at Chick-fil-A's locally and across the country; many people making a statement by buying a chicken sandwich.
"It's just a show of support," Renee Konopka.
Support for Chick-fil-A's boss Dan Cathy who said on a radio show, "I think were 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."
Gay marriage supporters called the statement homophobic. Mayors of several big cities signaled the fast food chain was not welcomed in their towns.
"Chick-Fil-A's values are not Chicago's values," says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney in a letter told Cathy, "So please, take a hike and take your intolerance with you. There is no place for this type of hate."
Gay Activists called for protests including a same sex kiss day on Friday at Chick-fil-A's
As a pushback conservative, activists declared Wednesday Chick-fil-a appreciation day which generated long lines of customers.
"I'm out to support Chick-fil-A because they had the guts to stand up," said Anthony Goodman.
For some in line Wednesday, the issue was religious tolerance; powerful government officials attacking a company because of its owners' faith based views.
"I am a business owner, and that is terrifying to me," John Luke.
"It would be different if he was being prejudicial in his service and to his employment. He is not doing that," said Kathy Werner. "He is serving gay people just like he serves everybody else."