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Anti-gay marriage stance may be helping Chick-fil-A's bottom line

Fast food chain's customers have grown by 2.2 percent

While Chick-fil-A's stance against gay marriage may have politicians, celebrities gay rights groups and even The Muppets in an uproar, the fast food chain has been enjoying an increase in customers.

Sandelman & Associates, a research firm that conducts research for all major fast-food chains in US media markets, found that the number of customers who visited the chain in the past month increased by 2.2 percent, ABC News reported Thursday (25 October).

'There are a lot of people who have an affinity to the brand,' says Jeff Davis, president of Sandelman & Associates.

Chick-fil-A's Chief Operating Officer COO Dan Cathy caused a stir in July when he said in an interview with the Baptist Press this week that the company is opposed to gay marriage. It had donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2010 through its charitable arm called WinShape. It also gave more than $2 million to anti-gay groups between 2003 and 2009.

A flood of criticism from politicians, celebrities and gay rights groups followed but also plenty of support including from former US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. There was also a Chick-fil-A appreciation day on 1 August that the chain said resulted on record one-day sales.

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