CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A popular restaurant chain is still in the middle of a nationwide controversy.

Thousands flocked to Chick-fil-As across the region after former GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee encouraged people to support the eatery today.

Route 228 in Cranberry was gridlocked as customers waited in line for hours. The drive-thru at times looked like a parade with American flags flying from cars.

There were also kids standing with signs that read: “We Appreciate Chick-fil-A” and “I Support Traditional Marriage.”

“I felt that I would come out and show my support rather than the boycott,” Matt McCarrier, a youth pastor, said.

But not everyone that came out supported the restaurant chain.

“It is so screwed up that these people come here to support something like that,” Kara Buggy, who works nearby, said. “I’m just here to watch all these disgusting people walk by.”

The battle started brewing last month after Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy spoke out in support of the “biblical definition of a family unit.”

“All he did was [give] his opinion and as far as I can remember with the Constitution, the First Amendment, you have freedom of speech,” Janet Cook, of Franklin Park, said.

Many gay and lesbian rights groups vowed to boycott the chain, calling Cathy’s remarks hateful and intolerant.

Proponents of same sex marriage are planning their own protest for Friday, encouraging couples to engage in public displays of affection and asking Americans to donate the cost of a meal to gay and lesbian rights groups.

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