SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - The ongoing Chick-fil-A controversy that was sparked when it's CEO denounced same-sex marriage is hitting Utah.
Even though no one has staged any public protests over the debate in the Beehive State, people are weighing in with their opinions. "I don't think anybody should judge anybody. That's not their place to judge," said Utah resident Jennifer Hohrein.
Others believe Chick-fil-A's CEO is entitled to his opinion, but are questioning whether or not his statement was a good business move. "You have a right to take any kind of stance you want, but I think it's a foolish stance from a business sense because you're cutting out a part of your potentional customer base," said Salt Lake resident Brad Davis.
Public officials in both Chicago and Boston announced this week that they will try to stop the construction of Chick-fil-A's that are slated to open in their respective cities. "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
In response, former presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are showing their support for the fast food chain by creating an appreciation day next Wednesday, August 1st. Tens of thousands have already signed up on facebook, including people here in Utah and surrounding states. "I support Chick-fil-A. I support their stand on marriage between a man and a woman," said Charles Seip who lives in Nampa, Idaho.
The American Civil Liberties Union is also taking issue with proposed city bans on Chick-fil-A. In a statement issued on Friday, their top lawyer argued, "The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words."
While many across the country plan on eating at Chick-fil-A on the appointed "appreciation day," some groups are planning "kissing" protests by same-sex partners. In the meantime, some people say they simply don't care about the controversy. "It's a place that fries chicken. Either eat there or don't. Don't get so carried away about what the company thinks," says Davis.