SPRINGFIELD -- When the doors opened at Chick-Fil-A on South Glenstone Avenue in Springfield on Wednesday morning, customers were already waiting in line. By about 8:30 in the evening, the fast food restaurant closed its lobby doors because nearly every bit of food had sold.
The nationwide restaurant chain has become a political lightning rod after the company's president said in an interview with a Christian publication that he is opposed to same sex marriage.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee showed his support by declaring Wednesday "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day."
His message was received loud and clear. Thousands of people -- some who waited for two or more hours -- came to show their support for Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy, who publicly stated his support of the "biblical definition of the family unit."
"I think it was honorable that he made that position and I think he has the right to do that," said Steve Jackson.
In addition to support, Cathy's words also unleashed a torrent of criticism from gay rights groups and others, who have called for boycotts and efforts to block the chain from opening new stores in some cities across the country.
At least one voice amid the Springfield crowd spoke out in opposition to Cathy.