Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Customers packed into Chick-fil-A restaurants across the Midlands and the country for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called for the day of support after the company's president, Dan Cathy made comments favoring traditional marriage.
People say it took them much longer to get in and out of the restaurant Wednesday, but many said it was worth it.
"It's a madhouse, it's crowded, everybody's happy everyone's eating food it was a good thing," said Stan Catchings.
Others say the restaurant is promoting hatred with their actions.
Cars wrapped around a restaurant, and people packed lobbies with lines stretching outside the door, many supporting a company that shares their beliefs.
"To support traditional marriage it's not against anybody it's just for supporting traditional marriage and business that I think has good principals," said Catchings, of why he made a point to make it to a Chick-fil-A.
"Mr. Cathy's just supporting what the Bible says, marriage is between a man and a woman and i'm proud of him for saying that," said another supporter, Craig Malone.
For others it was about free speech, whether they agreed with the restaurant's message or not.
"We're supposed to no be condemned for believing certain beliefs and I think this is a big fat case of bullying," said Blair Harris.
Last month, Cathy told the Baptist Press the company backed the biblical definition of a family. That sparked criticism from gay rights groups and call for boycotts of the restaurant, which supporters countered today with their appreciation day.
Christine Johnson. Executive Director of South Carolina Equality, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender South Carolinians says Cathy has a right to free speech and a corporate stance, but this situation is about more than a sandwich.
"We think it's unfair and unjust for his corporation to donate millions and millions of dollars to organization that promote more than family, they promote hatred of the lesbian and gay community and we really resist that,"said Johnson.
She says the Chick-fil-A controversy has brought in hundreds of dollars worth of donations for the group and each time someone donates they send Chick-fil-A an "equal means everyone postcard."
She says the situation has shown a big push-back of a corporate policy that should not have anything to do with buying a meal.
"I just don't want a side of bigotry with my sandwich," she said.
Supporters of gay rights have planned to take action themselves at the end of the week with a "kiss-in." Some same sex couples plan to show up a Chick-fil-A restaurants and kiss each other on Friday.