Flower Mound organizer proud of 'kiss-in,' despite low local turnout




Posted on August 3, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 4 at 8:25 AM

DALLAS - It was quite small when compared to Wednesday's massive nationwide show of support for Chick-fil-A, but at restaurants across America, same sex couples staged a "kiss in" Friday.

It was organized by an openly gay young woman from Flower Mound.

"We are here to show everyone we are gay and we aren't going away!" Carly McGehee enthusiastically told the two- to three-dozen people who gathered behind the Chick-fil-A on North Central Expressway near Caruth Haven.

Police kept them in a grassy area near the drive thru.

Then the couples lined up and kissed, as McGehee took photos of them all.

"This isn't a stunt," she said. "It's a call to action."

McGehee grew up in Flower Mound, but lives in New York City now. She was back in North Texas Friday night, and proud that an effort she started on Facebook took off. Couples from across the U.S. posted pictures of themselves kissing in from of Chick-fil-A signs, and posted them online.

When Chick-fil-A's president said publicly he supports marriage between a man and a woman, McGehee was not surprised. But she felt she had to do something.

So she organized the kiss in.

But what looked to be millions of other Americans were moved to support the restaurant chain earlier this week. Customers who stood in long lines in extreme heat Wednesday to spend money at Chick-fil-A.

"We just want to be in a place where other people think like we do," said one woman at a restaurant in Fort Worth.

Turnout was so large, some locations ran out of food. The chain would not release sales figures.

Steve Sage and Tom Swiger took part in the kiss in Friday because they question Chick-fil-A's position.

"They have gay employees," Sage said. "They have gay customers. They should be more respectful."

On social media, opponents deemed her efforts a failure, but McGehee said her crowds were small because some members of the gay and lesbian community are uncomfortable being open about their lifestyle.

"We don't live in a very accepting world right now," she said.

"I think most of the people who were supporting Chick-fil-A were supporting their First Amendment right, and I totally agree," McGehee said. "They have a right to say and believe what they want. But I think people are unaware of what Chick-fil-A does with it's money."

She claims the restaurant chain gives money to groups with anti-gay agendas.

"I haven't eaten there since 2010, and I don't plan to anytime soon," she said.

The kiss in did not appear to disturb business. The location where McGehee gathered supporters still had a steady stream of customers all evening.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com