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Business booms in South Bend for 'Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day'

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Business is booming at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country for "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day".

The popular fast-food chain is at the center of a political food fight, after the company president expressed his beliefs opposing same-sex marriage.

Business has been unbelievable at the U.S. 31 and Ireland Road location in South Bend.

People near and far have been showing up all day in support of the company's stance on marriage.

Maria Pedraza of South Bend brought her children to the South Bend Chick-Fil-A restaurant.

She had to park in the Lowe's parking lot and walk about three blocks before they got in a 30-minute line to order.

While she waited, she explained to her children why she brought them to the restaurant for lunch.

She said, "I really am surprised at what I'm seeing, the line out of the door, I'm amazed."

Linda Baney drove up from Plymouth with her son. "It takes me about 20 minutes to get up here, and I came up here to support the Chick-Fil-A and I saw it on Facebook and I thought, 'Hey, I'm going to come up and support them because I'm Christian'," said Baney.

Jeremy Snyder drove down from Benton Harbor with his wife and two children along with his co-worker and his wife and child.

"It's right around 40 miles to get here and probably 40-minute drive as well. We came down to support Chick-Fil-A. They've kind of been in the line of fire in the media recently and we came down to support them," said Snyder.

No signs, or blow horns, all in attendance are just here to grab a bite to eat and send a message.

Paul Czosnowski and his wife took a spin through the drive through line, a line that extended into the Lowe's parking lot that took them close to 30 minutes to get through.

"We think it's very courageous of Chick-Fil-A to make a statement, marriage between a man and a woman, we believe that strongly and nothing wrong with stating that," said Czosnowski.

The President and CEO of this restaurant chain created a fire storm recently when he said he supports the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage, but his Michiana supporters came out.

Baney said, "I've got gay friends, I mean it's no big deal. I mean, you know, its in the Bible. It's a Christian thing."

15-year-old Lauren Daniels stood in line with her family for lunch at the south side restaurant and didn't mind waiting close to an hour to eat.

She said, "It's encouraging for everyone to know you can stand up for what you believe in, even when other people are mad at you or whatever."

Chick-Fil-A did not organize the turnout, instead most people said they heard about the unofficial 'Appreciation Day" via social media websites such as Facebook.

Watch for the counter-demonstration, a national 'Same Sex Kiss Day' at Chick-fil-A on Friday, Aug. 3.

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