Supporters flock to Baton Rouge Chick-Fil-A restaurants

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The national movement to make Wednesday, August 1, 2012 the unofficial Chick-fil-A appreciation day is being felt in Baton Rouge.

Chick-fil-A supporters are eating at the chicken chain's restaurants as the company continues to be criticized for an executive taking a public position against same-sex marriage.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

A spokeswoman for the Rev. Billy Graham says the 93-year-old evangelist ate a Chick-fil-A lunch, including a chicken sandwich and waffle fries, at his North Carolina home.

Conservative groups were encouraging people to patronize their local Chick-fil-A businesses. The Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge sent out a statement Tuesday, encouraging people to buy local Chick-fil-A and also stating that some of the Baton Rouge stores are locally owned.

"One of the members of the new Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge is Brad Arton, owner of the Chick-Fil-A restaurant at 3023 College Drive, Baton Rouge. We want to counter the boycott of Brad Arton's restaurant by helping him to have a banner day this Wednesday!" said Woody Jenkins, Chairman Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge Parish in the news release.

Lines of cars and people were seen all across the Baton Rouge area and made traffic and wait times a little more hectic than usual.

National Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the Atlanta-based company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family." Gay rights groups and others answered with calls for boycotts.

Opponents of Cathy's stance have planned "Kiss Mor Chiks" for Friday, asking people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A locations and kiss each other.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved. The Associate Press contributed to this report.