Vandals spray paint pro-gay message on Cookeville Chick-fil-A - WKRN News 2

Vandals spray paint pro-gay message on Cookeville Chick-fil-A


Workers spent much of Thursday pressure washing a spray painted pro-gay message off the side of the Chick-fil-A in Cookeville.

Employees discovered the message that read, "God Loves F@^%* and Chicken" on a wall in the drive through at the Interstate Drive restaurant Thursday morning.

The restaurant may have been targeted because Chick-fil-A as a company has been associated with opposing same-sex marriage.

Comments made by the President and COO Dan Cathy in June 2012 led to a call to boycott the fast food chain and a subsequent backlash that led to a Chick-fil-A appreciation day in August of that year.

People nationwide ate at Chick-fil-A to show their support for the fast food restaurant.

At the time the restaurant's corporation released a statement that read in part:

"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect, regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender… Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."

A manager at the Chick-fil-A in Cookeville told News 2 the store has never been targeted before.

The Tennessee Equality Project promotes equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Tennessee.

Executive Director Chris Sanders said no one affiliated with the TEP was involved in the vandalism and the TEP condemns it.

"It concerns us because our community has been the victim of that kind of violence and continues to be," he said. "What if during this act of vandalism someone was shutting down the Chick-fil-A or the cleaning crew was leaving and there had been a violent confrontation?"

Bias motivated vandalism and property damage is a relatively rare crime.

According to the TBI, in 2012 there were a total of nine incidents, eight were anti-homosexual and one was anti-heterosexual.

"We understand why people get angry about things in the news, things that happen and things that effect equality but there are very productive peaceful ways of dealing with them we think," Sanders said.

Chick-fil-A did not file a police report about the incident. The restaurant just had the graffiti removed from the building.

Because the restaurant did not file a police report, Cookeville police told News 2 they are not investigating the incident.

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