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California Chick-fil-A owner makes headlines for giving free meals to gay marriage demonstrators

Posted by Your Town  March 29, 2013 12:26 PM

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Chick-fil-A is back in the news.

The owner of a California Chick-fil-A is making headlines for providing dozens of free meals to gay marriage supporters.

Corey Braun, the owner of a Chick-fil-A in southern California, distributed dozens of free entree tickets to gay marriage supporters at a demonstration earlier this week, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported.

"There were a lot of things said over the past year," Braun said. "I wanted to show that Chick-fil-A doesn't discriminate against anybody. We serve everyone. We're happy to serve the community and this was an opportunity to have this group come in and show them our hospitality regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, or whatever. "

That's quite a switch from the news facing the fast food chain a few months back, when it faced anger and more from gay marriage supporters in Boston and elsewhere.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said he would do everything in his power to block the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain from coming to Boston because of the company’s anti-gay stance. Also, Northeastern studentsNortheastern University students ruled were against allowing the restaurant on-campus.

In California, Eden Anderson, one of the demonstrators, told the Daily Bulletin that Braun's appearance at the demonstration surreal.

"The crowd was very accepting, of course," Anderson said. "We got quiet and we were listening, and with some skepticism. But really, what I experienced with the community, is when people are open and apologetic and accepting, it's touching to us. It feels like acceptance and we just want to be accepted and engaged in society, so when it's confirmed, I think the overall reaction was, yes, certainly that Chick-fil-A in Rancho Cucamonga is welcoming to us. "

The Globe has reported that according to the Equality Matters website, which advocates for equality for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people, tax records show that the company's charitable arm has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay causes in recent years.

In late February, Northeastern University announced that Chick-fil-A would not be coming to campus, after the student Senate passed a resolution 31 to 5 against allowing the chain to build a restaurant in the student center.

And in July, Mayor Menino wrote a charged letter to the chain’s president, Dan Cathy, in which he said there is no place in Boston for a Chick-fil-A.

"I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston,'' Menino wrote. "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.''

Katherine Landergan can be reached at For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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