Weatherford Democrat

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August 2, 2012

Local man, others nationwide show support for restaurant

WEATHERFORD — Roger Jordan says two weeks ago he was just a guy sitting on a couch.

Wednesday morning, he was standing outside Weatherford Chick-fil-A trying to drum up support for the restaurant’s which has caused an uproar nationwide. Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy recently commented that he believes in the Biblical view of marriage as one man and one woman. Many civil and gay rights groups have taken issue with his statement and the company’s support of groups that promote conservative Christian values.

Jordan wasn’t alone in his support of Chick-fil-A Wednesday. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee set up a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Facebook page encouraging those who approve of Cathy’s stance and the conservative Christian principles that the company supports — for example, closing on Sunday so as to allow employees to attend church, if they so desire — to eat at Chick-fil-A Wednesday.

“The goal is simple: Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1,” read the post on the Facebook event page.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant chain did not have any official comment on the appreciation day and local managers did not return calls for comment.

News organizations around the country reported that several people participated in the day — as well as protested the event.

Jordan said the reaction he was getting early on was strong and positive.

Jordan and others had sent out an e-mail saying he and his wife Rhonda would be passing out sandwiches from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday in support of the restaurant. The restaurant was packed mid-morning with people trying to get inside and to the drive through off South Main Street but traffic was moving well.

“God had kind of directed me to do something like this,” Jordan said. “It’s definitely getting hot out here, but I will do as I am asked.”

It got so hot so quickly, the Jordans decided to pack up their chairs and head home by 11 a.m., a full hour earlier than expected. He said he had received words of support.

He said he had received a few shows of opposition to what he and Rhonda were doing, with one man driving past with a thumbs down.

“First one we’ve had like that,” Jordan said.

Jordan said he was approached by the health department saying he couldn’t pass out sandwiches. He then opted to hand out $5 gift cards instead. By 10:45 a.m. he had handed out all 50 gift cards he had purchased.

“I don’t see the difference between buying pizzas and taking them back to the job and what I’m doing, but ...,” Jordan said. “Judging by the enthusiasm and the honks of support we’ve been getting from motorists and passers by all morning, I’ll say this has been a success.”

Opponents of the appreciation day have planned their own event, publicized on Facebook, as well. The National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A encourages gay rights supporters to share a same-sex kiss in front of restaurants nationwide this Friday, Aug. 3. However, organizers of that event say the are not doing this in response to the appreciation day.

“We would also like to clarify that this event was NOT created as a response to Mike Huckabee’s appreciation day, this event was created on July 19, several days before Mike Huckabee announced his plans for Wednesday August 1,” reads a statement on the National Same Sex Kiss Day Facebook event page.

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