Chick-fil-A and its president/COO Dan Cathy have gone out of their way several times to make it clear that they stand in direct opposition to the wave of equality sweeping the nation, namely in matters of marriage.
Though there has been no official word of any changes since that remark was made late last year, at least one Chick-fil-A franchisee has since decided to break ranks and express support for the marriage equality movement, while claiming to speak for the company as a whole.
"There were a lot of things said over the past year," said Corey Braun, who owns and operates a Chick-fil-A in Rancho Cucamonga, California. "I wanted to show that Chick-fil-A doesn't discriminate against anybody. We serve everyone. We're happy to serve the community and this was an opportunity to have this group come in and show them our hospitality regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, or whatever."
Bruan surprised demonstrators at a local same-sex marriage rally by handing out coupons for free meals to attendees. "Chick-fil-A has never been about hate," Braun said, insisting that whatever was said was "taken out of context."
And he told the crowd as much using a microphone and an amplifier.
"We got quiet and we were listening, and with some skepticism," said LGBT activist Eden Anderson. "But really, what I experienced with the community, is when people are open and apologetic and accepting, it's touching to us."
Anderson said that "overall," the protesters came away with the feeling that "Chick-fil-A in Rancho Cucamonga is welcoming to us."
Chick-fil-A has yet to confirm if Braun's views do indeed reflect those of the company at large.