Frederick police continue their investigation into who may have used pro-gay stickers and other items to vandalize a local Chick-fil-A over the weekend.
Captain Tim Clark of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office told the Blade that officers found blue and yellow Human Rights Campaign stickers, rainbow signs and what he described as “several homemade posters with statements” on the restaurant’s windows when they responded to the scene on Urbana Pike yesterday afternoon. Clark said the vandalism took place sometime between midnight on Saturday and 2:40 p.m. on Sunday when he said the department first learned about the incident.
“The office had received reports from passersby that they had noticed some posters, stickers and so-forth placed on the windows at Chick-fil-A,” he said. “We responded. The deputy took a report.”
Clark noted there was no physical damage to the restaurant on Urbana Pike, and management had begun to remove the glue used to secure the stickers and posters to the wall. Investigators continue to gather surveillance footage from the area to identify a potential suspect.
This incident took place nearly a month after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy spoke out against marriage rights for same-sex couples during an interview with the Baptist Press.
Roughly 15 people gathered outside the downtown Silver Spring Chick-fil-A on Aug. 3 to take part in a “kiss-in” to protest Cathy’s comments. A handful of protesters also gathered outside the Crystal City Chick-fil-A earlier this month on “Chick-fil-A Customer Appreciation Day” that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and other social conservatives supported, while HRC organized a separate demonstration outside the restaurant’s downtown D.C. food truck on July 26.
Media reports indicate that vandals have targeted a Torrance, Calif., Chick-fil-A and at least one other of the Atlanta-based fast food chain’s restaurants since the controversy erupted.
“Under no circumstances does HRC condone vandalism or the destruction of property,” HRC spokesperson Dan Rafter told the Blade. “While this is certainly an issue that has stirred strong emotions on both sides, the only way we can effect real progress is by having a civil dialogue and continuing to educate consumers about the groups that Chick-fil-A donates to; and how those groups routinely demonize LGBT people. We change opinion by sharing our personal stories and humanizing this type of discrimination — not by vandalizing property in the middle of the night.”
Josh Levin, campaign director of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group seeking to defend the state’s same-sex marriage law in November, also spoke out against the vandalism.
“We abhor any vandalism or disrespect in this campaign,” he said in a post on the campaign’s Facebook page. “[We] remain focused on supporting all Maryland families and sending the message that gay and lesbian couples should be treated fairly under the law. We encourage our supporters to have conversations with folks they know who may be undecided on the issue. That’s how we win.”
Chick-fil-A did not immediately return the Blade’s request for comment.