Crowds jam Hobart Chick-fil-A on politically charged Appreciation Day

2012-08-01T20:00:00Z 2012-09-10T22:18:44Z Crowds jam Hobart Chick-fil-A on politically charged Appreciation DayBy Deborah Laverty, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223

HOBART | The crowds who packed Chick-fil-A on Wednesday rivaled the restaurant's mid-October opening-day turnout.

Scores of people lined up to buy a meal and show their support for the restaurant, which has been the subject of criticism since the company president spoke out against same-sex marriage.

A number of politicians and groups have asked for a boycott of the restaurant, but former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

Leslie and Dan Mellin drove from Valparaiso to the restaurant, just north of Westfield Southlake mall, to get a bite to eat and support the company. They had to wait to get inside, even at 2 p.m.

"We definitely support Chick-fil-A and stand up for their First Amendment rights for free speech," Leslie Mellin said.

Security personnel helped direct traffic on the property.

Lt. David Grissom said Hobart police were keeping a presence near the restaurant because of the expected traffic, some of which spilled onto U.S. 30.

"But no police officers have been assigned to the restaurant and we have not experienced any problems," Grissom said.

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