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‘Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A’ draws kissing activists

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Haley Key and Stefania Alon-Key participate in a "kiss-in" outside a Chick-Fil-A in Atlanta, August 3, 2012. ( …

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Scores of same-sex couples celebrated "National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A" by kissing each other outside some of the fast-food chain's 1,600 stores on Friday night in protest of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's controversial public comments against same-sex marriage.

And like Wednesday's "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" organized by Cathy's supporters, the "kiss-in" was largely peaceful--though far less crowded.

In Wichita, Kansas, the owner of the Chick-fil-A handed out free chicken sandwiches and water to gay rights activists gathered for the kiss-in.

[Slideshow: Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A]

"He was a very nice gentleman," Jeanne de Grasse, one of the sandwich beneficiaries, told Wichita's KAKE-TV. "He was very reasonable, we had a nice dialogue and he shared sandwiches and water with us."

In Decatur, Ga., Chick-fil-A employees served lemonade to the protesters.

In Atlanta, where Chick-fil-A is based, partners Haley Key and Stefania Alon-Key locked lips in front of the Chick-Fil-A restaurant in the CNN Center. (The store, though, was closed.) Outside, Rollin Longino, an activist dressed as Jesus, held a sign that read, "I Had Two Dads and Turned Out All Right!"

In Chicago, Zachary Dickerson, 33, and John Lichtfield, 30, kicked off an early version of the kiss-in, holding a sign that read "We win" as they smooched. A small crowd burst into applause, and others followed suit.

Zachary Dickerson and John Litchfield participate in a "kiss-in" at a Chick-fil-A in Chicago. (Isa-Lee Wolf)

"Dan Cathy is exercising his constitutional right to exercise his opinion," Dickerson, a lawyer, told Yahoo News. "And we are exercising our constitutional right to tell him he's wrong."

Sarah Melzer-Hire, also 33, thought people should know about the goals of the organizations to which Chick-fil-A donates.

"Dan Cathy has the right to say what he wants," she said. "But when it comes to giving money to organizations that believe things as preposterous as gay people should be in prison, deported, or advocating for 'reparative therapy,' an average consumer who thinks they're supporting free speech doesn't know that they're also supporting that kind of oppression."

In Hurst, Texas, Chick-fil-A owner Rich Eager said that a small number of activists showed up to engage in public displays of affection without incident.

In Port Charlotte, Fla., Chick-fil-A operator Edward Leslie went table to table collecting trash and filling drink refills, but as of 8 p.m., there were no signs of protesters. "We will gladly serve everybody and provide them some great food," Leslie said.

[Also see: Chick-fil-A supporters turn out in droves for 'Appreciation Day']

On Wednesday, following several weeks of protests and catcalls from progressive mayors aimed at Chick-fil-A, supporters of the fast-food chain--and traditional marriage--turned out in droves, jamming many of Chick-fil-A's 1,600 U.S. stores. And gay rights activists, for the most part, stayed away.

One protester, though, was fired from his job as a chief financial officer at a Tucson, Ariz., medical device manufacturer after a video he shot of himself bullying a Chick-fil-A drive-thru employee went viral.

With reporting from Isa-Lee Wolf in Chicago, Skip Griffin in Texas, Jeff Briscoe in Florida.

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