updated - May 19, 2013 Sunday EDT
Chick-fil-A posted "record-setting" sales on Wednesday as thousands of people queued up at the chicken chain for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day after the chain's president and CEO made anti-gay comments.
"While we don't release exact sales numbers, we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had called on people to buy food at the chain on Wednesday, which he dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," after a backlash against the company and their president.
"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," Robinson said. "We congratulate local Chick-fil-A Owner/Operators and their team members for striving to serve each and every customer with genuine hospitality."
On a Facebook page Huckabee created announcing the event, more than 620,000 people said they would participate. "People are voting with their feet today," Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, said. "I guess you could also say they are voting with their faces, they are stuffing them with chicken sandwiches, those lovely Chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-A."
The uproar began when Chick-Fil-A's president and Dan CEO Cathy, told the Biblical Recorder, a Baptist journal, in early July that the company was "very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit." In a radio interview in June, Cathy said, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'"
"We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
Former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress and former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin joined in, urging their supporters to give Chick-fil-A their business. Dozens of photos posted to Twitter on Wednesday showed Chick-fil-A locations packed with people or lines out the door.
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