Chick-fil-A truck causes stir in D.C.
In front of a Chick-fil-A food truck above Metro Center downtown, LGBT protesters urged the lunchtime public not to patronize it because the fast food chain’s president, Dan Cathy, opposes gay marriage and helps fund organizations against it.
Cathy, a Baptist Church member from Georgia, came out recently and publicly announced he does not support same-sex marriage.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has joined the mayors of Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston in speaking out against Cathy's stand on same-sex marriage.
Gray says he won't support an expanded presence for Chick-fil-A in the District and referred to the company's product as "hate chicken" in a tweet on Friday. His statement referenced his "long-standing strong support for LGBT rights and marriage equality"
Chick-fil-A has no immediate plans to expand in the city. Its only physical location is on the campus of The Catholic University. The company also has a food truck in the district.
"It's a company that gives money to organizations that actively work to demonize LGBT Americans," Dan Rafter, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, said. "They actually work against marriage equality for LGBT people."
Lunchtime regulars said the protest had an impact and the lunch line was shorter than usual.
WATCH: ABC7's Ben Eisler reports on Mayor Gray's reaction:
"Today I saw the protesters and it reminded me that people are people. Nobody should be discriminated against,” says Stacey Salah of Rockville.
But a lot of people stayed in line too.
"I'm from the South and I love Chick fil-A,” says Alyssa Munk of Chevy Chase. “They're always super friendly to everyone. If you don't want to eat at Chick-fil-A, you don't have to."
And some, like Kim Mitchell, got in line to support Chick-fil-A's president.
"I believe in this rights, but not only that, I believe he's employing a lot of young people more of what we need in businesses today,” says Mitchell. “I have nothing against gay marriage; if it's something they want to do, that's fine."
The Chick-fil-A truck actually moves around D.C. and when it tweeted out it was going to be at Metro Center, the protesters decided to show up. They say they'll follow the tweets and be showing up at other locations as well.