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Gay Rights Activists Combat Chick-Fil-A with 'Kiss In'

Common Dreams staff

Gay rights activists and marriage equality advocates are holding a national 'Kiss-In' on Friday at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country in response to the fast food chain's public stance against same-sex marriage.

"Let's show Chick-Fil-A thanks for their support of Love, Equality, and the Real Definition of Marriage!" organizers posted on their Facebook page.  Participants in the action will be posting stories, photos, and videos to the group's Tumblr page.

The action against Chick-Fil-A stems from comments last month by the company's CEO Dan Cathy, who said he supported "the biblical definition of the family unit" and that backers of gay marriage were "arrogant." The chain has since become a lightning rod in the national same-sex marriage debate with opponents of gay marriage holding a 'day of appreciation' for the chain's anti-equality stance.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which is not organizing any events but has helped to promote them, said that Chick-Fil-A's anti-gay stance goes way beyond its opposition to gay marriage. "They have given millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organizations," said GLAAD in a media statement, "including those that have been designated "hate groups" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They have supported organizations that are on record saying that being gay should be recriminalized in America. Chick-fil-A also bans gay couples from its "WinShape Retreats" aimed at growing leadership within the company.

In a report by Reuters, Carly McGehee, the Dallas political activist who came up with the idea of the kiss-ins, said more than 15,000 people have said they will join the protest since she posted an announcement on her Facebook page on July 19.

Cathy's company "is continuously supporting hate and bigotry and intolerance," said McGehee, 24. "He has the right to do that, but he has to be prepared for the backlash, for the repercussions. This is America."

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