BY WAYNE LAUGESEN
(NCRegister) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Major thoroughfares backed up all day on Wednesday in front of this city’s five Chick-fil-A locations. The scene played out in cities throughout the country, as people who respect marriage as an institution between one man and one woman came out to support the embattled president of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, who came under attack for expressing his support of traditional marriage in the Baptist Press.
“This is amazing,” said Jackie Walls, marketing director for a Colorado Springs Chick-fil-A, as she helped manage traffic and took orders from customers waiting in the drive-through line. “People started showing up in droves at about 9am, and it has not slowed down. If you show up here now (about 7pm), the wait is about an hour and a half.”
Pedestrian customers stood in lines that wrapped around the chain’s buildings, with some lines extending onto nearby sidewalks, waiting to get in the door.
In the drive-through line, waiting to turn onto a street that led to a Colorado Springs Chick-fil-A, were the founders and owners of CatholicMarriagePrep.com. Christian Meert, who owns the company with his wife, Christine, said all 24 of the CatholicMarriagePrep.com instructors spent hours in line to do business with Chick-fil-A.
Meert and his wife immigrated to Colorado from France and became American citizens in 2010. At the time, he could not imagine this was a country in which four major politicians — the mayors of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington — would strike out verbally at a businessman for expressing his support of traditional marriage. The mayors said Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their respective cities because of Cathy’s viewpoint.
The Meerts have five children and are concerned about their new country, where they are in the business of promoting traditional marriage.
“I don’t think this would happen in France,” Christian Meert said of the attack on Chick-fil-A’s CEO. “I think we are more intolerant here, at this point in time, than in Europe. This is supposed to be the land of the free, which is one reason we became Americans. I never, ever thought I would see this in the United States.”
Meert said he, and most likely his staff, will continue doing business with Chick-fil-A long after the conflict is yesterday’s news.
“I had never eaten here before, but I will eat here often going forward,” Meert said. Read more.