Couple Tyler Savage and Larry Farris arrived at Chick-fil-A off Northwest Highway Friday afternoon to quietly protest the company’s anti-gay stance – and to kiss.
Various media outlets swarmed the couple and two others who were present when Instant Tea was there for the noon hour.
Farris, known as “Larry The Fairy” in the Dallas LGBT community, said the National Same-sex Kiss-in Day at Chick-fil-A Friday was not about the company President Dan Cathy’s remarks about gay marriage, but about the company giving funds to anti-gay groups.
“I’m not going to spend money here anymore. Why would I want to fund companies that are anti-me?” he said. “Free speech is free speech. I don’t care what he says, it’s the money that he’s donating.”
For Savage, it’s a not about the chicken chain.
“I want to get married, that’s what I want,” he said before leaning in for a kiss with Farris.
A customer walked out of the restaurant and intervened in the middle of a media interview with the couple, telling them to leave, that God would judge them and to stop misrepresenting Chick-fil-A. He refused to give his name to the media. (Video below) Police on scene said there had not been any trouble and hoped their presence would prevent any violence.
Mick Garr was also at the location to protest the kiss-in and to support Chick-fil-A with a sign that read “Free speech.” He said the president’s comments are about free speech and he has a right to say them.
“I think that Mr. Cathy has a right to make any comments politically that he wants to make and that nobody should say he can’t because they don’t like what he says,” he said. “There’s a lot of times I don’t like what the people gay community has to say but I still have to listen because that’s our right as Americans.”
Garr said doesn’t like the “in-your-face politics” of the LGBT community, saying he preferred the 80s when he was growing up when people were just gay, not making statements about it in public.
Kayla Foster, a straight ally, organized the gathering at noon at the restaurant and set up a table for those who showed up to make signs. She said not everyone would be able to attend because it was in the middle of a workday, but it was important for her to plan something.
“It’s all about equality. I’m not actually a part of the LGBT community but I’m an avid supporter,” she said. “I believe in equality for everybody and that’s what’s really driving this whole thing. It’s not about free speech. It’s not about right. It’s just about civil behavior between everyone and equality for everyone.
Skye Newkirk and girlfriend Whitney Copeland arrived with signs and waited for more friends and supporters to show up. Newkirk said he wanted to come out to support the LGBT community’s right to free speech by speaking out against the traditional values and anti-gay support that company has recently been so vocal about.
“I feel like to hate under religious pretence is wrong and if people want come out and show their support for that hate, then I can come out and say that I don’t support you,” Newkirk said.
Pam Buckmeyer and partner Shellie Crandall were also in attendance. Buckmeyer said her daughter works nearby and she and Crandall wanted to come by the store and kiss to be there for their friends who couldn’t show up on a Friday afternoon.
“We realized that a lot of our friends can’t be out and open today, they can’t get off of work. They’re also afraid of discrimination from their neighbors and employers, but we realized that we could [attend],” Buckmeyer said. “We wanted to come represent our hundreds and hundreds of friends who are boycotting Chick-fil-A.”
Photos and video are below.