Republican Faith Loudon plans to show her support for Chick-fil-A and her opposition to gay marriage by eating at at least three area restaurants today, according to the Capital Gazette.
The fast food chain made national headlines earlier this month when its president, Dan Cathy, publicly condemned gay marriage.
"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," Cathy said in an interview with the Baptist Press.
Reaction from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates and bloggers soon created a media firestorm. Republican Mike Huckabee waded into the debate by starting a Facebook group to support Chick-fil-A that has swelled to more than 500,000 members. The group called on people to support the restaurant chain by eating at a local Chick-fil-A on Wednesday.
And Loudon decided she would do just that.
"I agree with Dan Cathy and I want to encourage business leaders in my congressional district not to be afraid to express their constitutionally protected beliefs," Loudon told the Capital in a prepared statement.
Gay marriage supporters created their own counter demonstration called Same Sex Kiss-ups, which are planned nationwide for Friday.
The Baltimore Sun reported on a Facebook conversation that started as a few friends from Maryland and mushroomed into more than 6,000 people pledging $6.50—the average cost of a Chick-fil-A meal—to groups who support gay rights.
Brian Real, a University of Maryland doctoral student, told the Sun, "I figured I'd invite a few of my friends, they'd invite a few, it might break triple digits."
Maryland voters this November will decide the issue of gay marriage themselves after opponents gathered enough signatures to send Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D-MD) law allowing same-sex unions to referendum.
Loudon and her supporters will meet at 534 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park at 11 a.m before heading to the following Chick-fil-A locations on Wednesday:
- 3600 Baltimore Ave. in Laurel, some time after meeting in Severna Park
- 3366 Corridor Market Place in Laurel, after Baltimore Avenue
- 8110 Jumpers Hole Rd. in Pasadena, sign waving from 4:30 to 6 p.m.