Hundreds of people waited in long lines Wednesday at the Redlands Chick-fil-A on West Lugonia Avenue, and many did so to show solidarity with the chain president's recent statements opposing same-sex marriage.
"I came out to show support for Chick-fil-A," Frank Forsey, 69, of Highland said outside the crowded restaurant, where people on foot stood in the mid-afternoon sun and motorists waited in vehicles lined up on Lugonia to reach the drive-thru windows.
"They have been making comments that are not really what he said," Forsey said. "They just said he believed in marriage and so do I, and for that he's being condemned."
Gay rights groups and others have called for boycotts of Chick-fil-A since mid-July, when the chain's president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press his Atlanta-based company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family."
Lines at Chick-fil-A locations nationwide were in response to a message first posted on Facebook by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, who called on people to observe Aug. 1 as "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."
Some people said they came from as far away as Indio to show support for Chick-fil-A and Cathy's views.
"First of all the Bible says 'man and wife,'" Forsey said. "That's it. It also says His word does not change, forever until the end of time. So, if there's any argument, take it up with God. I'm going to support this establishment from now on."
Forsey, who attends Church of Christ in Yucaipa, said he waited about 45 minutes and it was worth it.
"I'd stand in line twice that long," Forsey said. "And the line was very long too. It must have had a couple hundred people in it."
Cheryl Lewis said she and her husband came from the north end of San Bernardino. They attend Packing House Cavalry Chapel in Redlands.
"My husband and I came out. We were here Thursday and we came again today because this was the day Fox News said to come out today to show support for the Bible version of marriage and for Sundays off, and the liberals are condemning him for that. So we're here to show support."
Greg Hans, 45, of Yucaipa, rode his bicycle from work on Base Line in Highland and he brought his two-wheeler inside the crowded restaurant to order.
"I am coming here to support Chick-fil-A and their view of marriage," said Hans, who attends Trinity Church in Redlands. "It's news right now. Chick-fil-A has been boycotted by people who believe that marriage should be between whoever and I believe the Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman.
"We support," Hans said. "I know it's become a political statement, but it's really more of a moral statement."
Wolf Clark, 53, and his wife, Rebecca, 47, of Yucaipa, came on Clark's 2006 Street Bob Harley-Davidson to add their support.
"We came to be a witness that God presented man and woman to be married, and He instituted the first marriage," Clark said. "I ride with Black Sheep Motorcycle Ministry, out of Murrieta. The founder is Marty Edwards, Slow Dogg."
Mimi Dupper of Redlands was at the end of the line Wednesday afternoon. She said it was her second time of the day eating at Chick-fil-A to show her support, and earlier in the day the line was twice as long, "to the end of this sidewalk."
Dupper said she goes to Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church, and she was in line with her daughter Kristi Debevec of Beaumont.
"This is my second time in line as well," Debevec said.
"We're just in favor of freedom of speech," Dupper said when asked why she stood in line twice in one day. "We are not protesting anything. We are supporting something."
A man named Pete said he brought his family all the way from Indio because the Redlands Chick-fil-A was the closest one to his home. He didn't want to give his last name, but he wore a T-shirt with "1791" on it.
"Freedom of speech, that's what 1791's all about," he said. "That's when the Bill of Rights was signed."
Some opponents of Cathy's stance plan to stage "Kiss Mor Chiks" on Friday, asking people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants and kiss each other, the Associated Press reported.