CONCORD — After a week of debate from both sides on marriage equality issues, the national discussion surrounding Chick-fil-A shows no signs of slowing down.
It began when Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy stated his support for marriage between one man and one woman; setting off a national firestorm from supporters of same-sex marriage. After Wednesday was proclaimed Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day by supporters of Cathy, the debate continued across the country and in the Charlotte region.
With a Bible in one hand and a microphone in another, religious speakers on Concord Mills Boulevard amplified their message in front of the restaurant chain at the center of a national debate. The traveling group Jeremiah's Call preaches a few Friday nights a month and said they stand behind Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's recent comments in public support of marriage between one man and one woman.
"He has the First Amendment right to say what he wants," said Dan Lee with Jeremiah's Call.
This past Wednesday on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, the chain set a one-day sales record.
"In light of the recent controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A, we felt it was really important that there was a positive presence out here," said Hilary Hoyt.
Friday's gathering in Concord drew a counter gathering, as supporters of gay and lesbians waved signs; which said messages such as God is love and You are Beautiful.
"I'm a Christian myself and I feel like what they are doing is completely wrong and not showing the love of God to anybody," said Hoyt.
As the gatherings showed Friday evening, the Chick-Fil-A debate has put several components of the First Amendments; the Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of Religion, and the Freedom of Assembly on full display.