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Eugene Delgaudio, supervisor at Chick-fil-A in Sterling, Va., supports company's CEO's right to express convictions

6:09 PM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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STERLING, Va. (WUSA) -- The same-sex marriage debate took center stage Wednesday at Chick-fil-A's across the country. This comes one week after the company's CEO publicly announced his opposition to same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday, his supporters flocked to the fast food chain for National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

The event was started by former Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee. He posted the event on Facebook and more than 600,000 people signed up, including Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio

"I believe a CEO should have the right to express his convictions and his commitment to men and women who eat chicken and are faithfully married," said Delgaudio at a Chick-fil-A in Sterling.

Delgaudio is protesting people like Mayor Vincent Gray who posted on Twitter: "Given my longstanding strong support for LGBT rights & marriage equality, I would not support #hatechicken."

HateChicken is the hashtag that's become popular among Chick-fil-A opponents. But supporters say this isn't about hate, it's about protecting freedom of speech.

"No mayor, no elected official has the right to tell a company - a private company - how to conduct their business and who their customers should be," said Delgaudio.

Delgaudio was joined by dozens of people, mostly conservative Republicans, for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Meanwhile, same-sex marraige supporters are organizing a counter protest. On Friday, GLAAD is hosting National Same-Sex Kiss Day. They're asking people of the same-sex to show up at Chick-fil-A locations and kiss each other in protest of the CEO's statement.

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