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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The call for support from those who agree with Chick-fil-A's stance on gay marriage is being answered at several local restaurants.
Chick-fil-A patrons crowded into the restaurant across from Mall St. Matthews in such numbers that traffic backed up onto Shelbyville Road. The wait there was said to be about an hour.
Restaurant workers were directing traffic and they set up a tent to keep customers out of the blazing sun.
The Chick-fil-A in Jefferson Mall also had a considerable backup, about two hours. Indiana State Police helped direct traffic at the restaurant on Veterans Parkway in Clarksville.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee declared today Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
The restaurant chain gained national criticism for CEO Dan Cathy's comments against gay marriage.
The University of Louisville on Wednesday decided not to take any action against Chic-fil-A. An online petition to kick the fast food chain out of the U of L Student Center had been gaining momentum. U of L President James Ramsey earlier said the remarks were offensive and that he wouldn't eat there.
Ramsey and Shirley Willihnganz, U of L Executive Vice President and University Provost, released a joint statement saying in part, "We also are a university that steadfastly supports free speech – even if that speech goes against our values. We respect an individual's right to disagree. We respect an individual's right to choose where they spend their money."
Conservative groups are pushing back. Andrew Walker with The Family Foundation says, "It's not the job of publicly funded universities, or the academy or the government to ostracize those of whom it disagrees with."
Locally, the restaurants have had no comment. WDRB News was given a corporate statement which reads in part, "The Chick-fil-A culture is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
WDRB Facebook fans have inundated our site with comments. Among them:
Tammy Schenck Gnagy says, "This guy never said anything about HATING anyone. The only one hating here are the gay people and their supporters hating Chic-fil-a."
But Josh Exarkann Broadwater replies, "sure, you have the right to donate to hate groups by proxy. I have the right to say I think you are stupid, and not give you any support."