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Gay Rights Groups Targeting Chick-Fil-A in Upcoming Protests, Including a National Same-Sex "Kiss In"

Customers camping out in front of Chick-fil-A's Valencia location in 2010 (Photo by R.E.˜ via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Chick-fil-A locations in SoCal and around the country will be the site of a planned day of protest next week in response to a recent controversial admission by the company's president that the business does not condone same-sex marriage and donates to anti-gay groups.

Additionally, a local protest organized by a gay youth group is slated for the Thursday morning opening of a new Chick-fil-A in Laguna Hills.

The national protest is themed as a "Same Sex Kiss Day" in which participants are asked to go to their local Chick-fil-A on Friday, August 3, and, well, do some kissing. The group, which is mobilizing largely on Facebook, describes their event as follows:

In honor of their support for love, equality, and the real definition of family, we're holding a NATIONAL Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick Fil A's around the country. So grab a friend (or 20) and head out to your nearest Chick Fil A!
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A new outpost of the Georgia-based chain is opening Thursday in Laguna Hills, and the new eatery will be "welcomed" to the community by a local gay and lesbian youth group who will have about 20 members at the location protesting.

The OC Register explains:

The youth group decided Chick-fil-A's latest Orange County restaurant opening would be "the perfect time and place to bring attention to the discriminatory policies and beliefs of Chick-fil-A," executive director Kevin O'Grady said. [...] "The purpose of the protest is to use this opportunity to help educate consumers about where the charitable arm of this corporation sends its money," youth program director Laura Kanter said. "We want to alert consumers that if they're spending their money at Chick-fil-A, some of that money can be spent against LGBT people and their families."

Chick-fil-A openings are spectacles as-is, thanks to the chain's "First 100" promo, which awardsfree food for a year to the first 100 people in line. The promo prompts people to camp out in front of the debuting location, ensuring not only media attention but also a captive audience for the planned protest.

The fast food chain's stance on same-sex marriage and their ongoing donations to anti-gay groups has been widely discussed in recent years, however as the chain has expanded, and following the president's remarks on record in the affirmative, the backlash has escalated. Late last week, The Jim Henson Company, whose characters are licensed for toys that have been given out with Chick-fil-A kids meals, announced they were severing their ties with the restaurant, and their CEO, Lisa Henson, directed the company to donate their payment from Chick-fil-A to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

The restaurant also garnered controversy in SoCal recently when a cashier noted two Asian customers as "Ching" and "Chong" on their receipts. That cashier was subsequently fired, though the chain maintains they do not espouse racist beliefs.

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