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Chick-fil-A sparks controversy in Carolinas

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QNotes
|
August 1, 2012

From QNotes:

Updated: N.C. Wendy's franchisee takes down signs in support of Chick-fil-A

CHARLOTTE — The ongoing national controversy over fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A, its owner’s anti-gay comments and the company’s decision to give millions of dollars to anti-gay groups has sparked conversation in the Carolinas.

Today, supporters of Chick-fil-A have pledged to eat at the restaurant though a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” organized by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. They say they are defending the right of company president Dan Cathy and his family to speak out on their beliefs. A host of local anti-gay leaders from evangelists Billy Graham and son Franklin Graham to Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James have said they’ll stand with the company.

And, across the region, Tar Heel Capital CEO Jim Furman has allegedly ordered that his 75 North and South Carolina locations of competing fast food restaurant, Wendy’s, post “We stand with Chick-fil-A” on their marquees.

Wendy’s corporate folks, meanwhile, were busy tweeting “We are looking into this” — like this one back to qnotes — in response to tweets on the subject.

Wendy’s International spokesperson Denny Lynch told qnotes that Furman, an independent franchisee and owner of the Carolina stores, had decided to remove the messages from his signs.

“This is one independent franchisee’s personal opinion,” Lynch said as he read a prepared statement over the phone. “We are proud to serve customers of varied races, backgrounds, cultures and sexual orientations with different beliefs and values. Bearing that in mind, this franchisee has decided to remove the messages from his restaurants’ signs.”