Watch: Gay Marriage Debate Hits the Deep Fryer in Laguna Hills

Protesters on both sides of the issue clash at the opening of a new Chick-fil-A outlet.

Seems you just can’t clog your arteries anymore without someone raising a stink about it.

But the current controversy swirling around the Chick-fil-A fast food chain isn’t about deep-fried deliciousness. It’s about remarks that company president Dan Cathy gave to the Baptist Press last week, when the publication asked about his company’s "support of the traditional family."

*Click the box on the right to watch video from Thursday's protest. -->

"Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy. "We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that ... we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

In a later radio interview on the Ken Coleman show, Cathy said this:

"I think we are 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,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.”

After that, same-sex marriage proponents flipped Cathy the bird, not too surprising since the company allegedly has a history of donating money to anti-gay groups. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino vowed to block any Chick-fil-A outlets from opening in his city. And the Jim Henson Co. severed its agreement to supply toys for the chain's kiddie meals.

On the other side, onetime Arkansas governor and Fox News talking head Mike Huckabee declared "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," and called on everyone to support the chain by eating there on Aug. 1. Ironically, the once-hefty Huckabee penned a book titled Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork.

Which brings us to Thursday in Laguna Hills, where a new Chick-fil-A opened to the public at 6 a.m. As is Chick-fil-A tradition, the first 100 customers of any new restaurant receive a free meal each week for a year. (Yes, there were people who camped out overnight for this.)

They were greeted, however, by a group of about 30 protesters organized by the youth activist arm of the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County. According to the Huffington Post, the demonstration interfered with the planned grand opening ceremony, and the outlet owners sent their fans home early with their food.

Most of the protesters had scattered by the time Patch arrived on the scene, but there were still smatterings on both sides of the issue who were willing to engage in a lively game of I Can Yell My Opinion Louder Than You Can Yell Yours.

Click the video at the top of the page and see what happened ...

*How do you feel about the Chick-fil-A controversy? Vote in our poll and spout off in the comments box below!

S.A.P. August 04, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Dan, I call a spade, a spade.....and no, that isn't a racial reference, but I'm sure you will try to twist it into one.
Dan Avery August 04, 2012 at 07:20 PM
So you can call a spade a spade but have trouble with me calling a bigot a bigot? The hypocrisy of your last statement is truly stunning.
met00 August 04, 2012 at 07:39 PM
1) The mayors can not ban the business, so it's just hot air (the Mayor of Boston backtracked publicly within 24 hours) 2) Bullying? Listen, it is really simple. Christian "traditional marriage" if you follow the text of their book includes multiple wives. The founder of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther wrote: "I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter." So, if that's the basis of reality, then unless you believe in polygamy you are against "traditional marriage". My point is that denying two people over the age of consent the right to enter into a State recognized contractual relationship based on the gender/gender identity of the two people is, in a word, a BIGOTED stance and those who espouse it are BIGOTS. If someone holds racist views I call them a racist. If someone holds bigoted views I call them a bigot. If either of these people use the money from their enterprise to promote their views I tell others that the ownership is crap and they shouldn't do business with them. That is not bullying, that is ensuring that racists and bigots don't have the funds to spread their hate.
S.A.P. August 04, 2012 at 07:43 PM
No, Dan, I have a problem with you calling everyone a bigot, and in effect, neutering the word. There are real, actual bigots in the world (some are even in this comments section), but when you claim "everyone" is a bigot, the word loses it's meaning. BTW, I have never stated my views about gay marriage, so you couldn't possibly know what they are.
Josephine August 04, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I'm not taking a position one way or the other. Ship: Why can't people say "I disagree" and move on? Dan: Because YOU would be let off the hook - bigotry is making a comeback. Ship: You are calling me a bigot again. Dan: How is making my statement calling you a bigot? Although you didn't literally call him a bigot, it was implied.


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