Over Half A Million People Join Mike Huckabee in 'Appreciating' Chick-fil-A [UPDATE]

Nearly 600,000 people have confirmed their participation in Mike Huckabee's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, per the event's Facebook page.

The former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister organized the event to express support for the fast-food chain in the aftermath of backlash sustained due to anti-marriage-equality remarks made by Chick-fil-A's president and COO Dan Cathy.

"I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld," Huckabee wrote on Facebook.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin both joined Huckabee in his crusade against Chick-fil-A opponents.

Over Half A Million People Join Mike Huckabee in 'Appreciating' Chick-fil-A [UPDATE]

To participate in Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day all one has to do is show up at one of the company's 1,600 branches and eat some chicken, thereby "affirm[ing] a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse."

Among the more surprising advocates for Chick-fil-A appreciation is Jim Furmen, owner of 86 North Carolina-based Wendy's franchises, who wrote "we stand with Chick Fil A" on the signs outside his stores.

A counter-protest called "National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A" was planned for this Friday, but the event's Facebook page appears to have been deleted. However, according the Associated Press, the kiss-in — now dubbed "Kiss Mor Chiks" — is still on.

UPDATE: Wendy's has apparently asked (or ordered) Furmen to take down the signs supporting Chick-fil-A, and Furmen has reportedly complied. Meanwhile, GLAAD notes that there are actually several counter-protests taking place around the country, and has compiled a complete list here.

[image via Facebook, photo via Reddit]