The Sun-Times has a report on yesterday’s Chick Fil-A Day in Chicago that seems to sum it up well— big crowds at local Chick Fil-As, many of whom said they weren’t there to protest gay marriage, but seemed to sense a rare chance to stick it to the powerful in this one-party town:
“I came out to support freedom of speech,” said Bob Matter, a paralegal and self-described atheist, liberal and supporter of gay marriage. Matter, like hundreds of others, flocked to the Chick-fil-A at 30 E. Chicago. “There should be no government limits on what you believe.”
But we were curious about the other event declared for that day— the Chick Fil-Gay Day that Hearty and other gay-friendly local restaurants organized. So we called Dan Smith at Hearty and asked him how his sales of chicken sandwiches to benefit Equality Illinois went.
“It was great, really great. We had close to 300 people go through the doors, which is a lot for a 60-seat restaurant,” Smith said. “We had people lined up waiting outside, which was nice because it reminded me of what the news had reported about the lines at Chick Fil-A. And I just signed a check for almost $3000 to Equality Illinois, so I’m really happy about how it went.”
We asked him if anyone famous— like, say, Mayor Emanuel— showed up. “No, Rahm didn’t make it, but we had our alderman, Alderman Cappleman, and some of Congressman Quigley’s staff came.” He said the mood was “festive— even people who had to wait 45 minutes were in a good mood, because they were supporting a good cause.”
We wondered if there was any negative reaction to the promotion. “I got a couple of calls from hate groups, and some church called me up and said they were going to come up and boycott us in September, have hundreds of people outside protesting. I said, fine, let me know when you’re coming up, I’ll send you to some bars while you’re here.”
Smith says that because the sandwich was so popular last night, Hearty plans to keep it on the menu for the rest of the week, with the proceeds continuing to go to Equality Illinois.