(LA Times) – On a day that some gay-rights activists are planning a “National Same-Sex Kiss Day,” a Chick-fil-A in Torrance was vandalized overnight with hateful graffiti.
Chick-fil-A employees were greeted Fridays morning with the words “Tastes like hate” scrawled in large black lettering mimicking the chain’s advertising across the back wall of the restaurant at 182nd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance.
With media helicopters hovering overhead and police officers on the scene, one employee said, “I’m just trying to sort everything out.”
Chick-fil-A has been at the center of media scrutiny and public debate ever since the company’s president publicly expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
On Friday, some gay-rights activists are encouraging same-sex couples to go one of the chicken restaurant’s locations and take a photo or video of themselves kissing.
It remains unclear whether this protest will generate the huge crowds that turned out Wednesday for “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” when tens of thousands waited through long lines in a show of support for the executive.
The privately held company declined to give specific sales figures but released a statement to the Los Angeles Times confirming that frenzied sales of chicken sandwiches and cross-cut waffle fries had made for a record-setting day.
“We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country,” said Steve Robinson, executive vice president of marketing, in the statement. “While we don’t release exact sales numbers, we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day.”
Newport Beach resident Ian Conger cited both business and religious reasons for dining Wednesday at the relatively new Costa Mesa location.
“This company is family-owned, and they’re putting their money where they want to, and that’s their right,” he said. “Nobody should tell someone how they should spend their money. God is very good to my wife and I, and I feel God’s going to be with us through this and he’ll be with the opposer as well. He doesn’t hate anybody.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has also weighed in on the Chick-fil-A debate, noting that Los Angeles has a “vibrant” LGBT community.
“I’m proud to support them as we call on Chick-fil-A’s leadership to reconsider their position and join the growing majority of Americans who support marriage equality,” Villaraigosa said. “In Los Angeles and in America, love and liberty will always triumph.”