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chick-fil-a_mealThe owner of a California Chick-fil-A surprised supporters at a pro-marriage equality rally by giving out dozens of free meal coupons.

COO Dan Cathy has publicly and repeatedly voiced his opposition to gay marriage, while the chain has continued its donations to anti-gay organizations. But Corey Braun, the owner-operator of a Rancho Cucamonga Chick-fil-A, said that despite its fowl foul record with the LGBT community, the franchise “has never been about hate.”

“There were a lot of things said over the past year,” Braun told the Daily Bulletin. “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. ”

Braun conveyed his deep-fried message of love and acceptance via a microphone and speakers to the stunned activists.

“The crowd was very accepting, of course,” said Eden Anderson, a board member with the local LGBT rights group Equality Inland Empire. “We got quiet and we were listening, and with some skepticism. But really, what I experienced with the community, is when people are open and apologetic and accepting, it’s touching to us. It feels like acceptance and we just want to be accepted and engaged in society, so when it’s confirmed, I think the overall reaction was, yes, certainly that Chick-fil-A in Rancho Cucamonga is welcoming to us. ”

Anderson, however, still remembers the hundreds of hungry bigots who showed up last year to the Rancho Cucamonga location for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day after LGBT advocates called for nationwide boycotts.

Luckily, it seems, time — and a spicy chicken sandwich — heals all wounds.

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