Chick-fil-A has been making headlines lately, and it's not for its spicy chicken sandwich or cute cows.
Since stating that the company donates money to various organizations, including those that oppose gay marriage and that he himself is a firm believer in traditional marriage, the company's president, Dan Cathy has, intentionally or not, ignited a firestorm of controversy.
Many have voiced their opinions, but it's former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's declaration of Aug. 1 being "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" that stands out.
He called for those who support Cathy to show their support by eating at the restaurant today. Sure enough, Chick-fil-A restaurants all over the country were flocked with people Wednesday and Temecula was included among those.
If you were on Margarita Road in Temecula today, you may have noticed slight traffic into and around the Chick-fil-A area as well as the crowd of people, with supporters beginning to line up when the eatery opened.
By noon, the line was well into the parking lot, and the drive-through line was backed up. Chick-fil-A employees went outside to take orders and distribute menus to the growing line.
The supporters talked among themselves, and at one point one person distributed U.S. flags to those in line.
Soon after, about 11 protesters marched into the parking lot from the neighboring Sprouts area, carrying signs and a colorful U.S. flag, and stationed themselves in the adjacent parking lot.
The protest was a peaceful one, and there were no confrontations between the groups.
"We aren't anti-homosexual," said Pastor Anthony R. Williams Sr., "We do not hate them. We just do not agree with their lifestyle."
Supporters referred to a recent statement by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who vowed to do everything he could to block the openning of a Chick-fil-A in an outlet of the city following Cathy's pro-traditional marriage stance.
"I stand behind them (the chicken chain) all the way," Temecula resident Peggy Hendrick said.
For their part, the number of protesters nearby grew to about 20. They remained generally quiet, not saying much, but rather letting their posters do the talking for them.
The signs bore slogans such as "Straight But Not Narrow", "Born This Way," "Jesus Had 2 Dads," and "Hate Isn't a Family Value."
More protestors also gathered on the street side of Chick-fil-A, waving signs for people to honk their support.
Sam Lozon and Sean Lenderink, the teens who organized the protest, said that they "aren't here to cause a disturbance or hurt business," but rather to take a stand.
Lozon added "There's been a lot of controversy regarding our protest. Everyone has a right to their opinions, but acting on them and donating to organizations like the ones they do is not okay."
As the day went on and grew hot, members of the Calvary Chapel Church in Fallbrook began distributing water bottles to both sides, and small booklets of the Gospel of John. People in support of the eatery waited in line for 30 minutes to an hour to make it to the register.