Supporters Come Out to Odessa for National Same Sex Kissing Day

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A group of protesters gathered at the Odessa Chick-Fil-A Friday evening in support of equal rights for gays and lesbians across the country.

The demonstration was in response to Wednesday's unofficial appreciation day for the fast food chain, whose President came out against same sex marriage.

"To sit and say that a group of Americans shouldn't have the same right that I enjoy with my husband is wrong," Lara Buckingham said.

It was another day of debate outside of Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country and even here in West Texas.

"It's just sad to think that people are ashamed to be who they are in today's world," Marci Harrison said.

Harrison and Buckingham, along with several others, came to the Odessa Chick-Fil-A in support of the National Same Sex Kiss Day.

The event was planned by the gay and lesbian community after Chick-Fil-A company president Dan Cathy said he is "guilty as charged" when it comes to backing the biblical definition of marriage.

Despite all the hype, there was no kissing in Odessa but protesters still had a lot to say.

"It's just extreme hate coming from a lot of people that claim to be Christian," Buckingham said.

"We had friends that wanted to be here but they were afraid of the ridicule and the backlash that could possibly happen because they are openly gay," Harrison said.

Others said it's not about who you love.

"As long as you're loving someone, you're making an improvement upon the hate that's in the world," Chelsea Blair said.

"I believe in equal rights, everybody's entitled to equal rights, this is America," Justin Orr said.

There were some there with differing opinions.

Mindi Fires said she came out, not to argue but to listen to the other side and spread God's love.

"It's not about a division or a political argument, it's actually about Him just touching lives and being real," Fires said.

Same sex supporters tell NewsWest 9 they were expecting a bigger turnout.

"When I arrived I was pretty surprised that I didn't see no one else up here," Orr said.

"At the same time, it's a conservative area," Blair added.

However both sides said they were happy it was a peaceful gathering.

"We can all be mature adults and agree to disagree," Blair said.

"We might've talked a quarter of the time about the issue that actually brought people to this location but the rest of the time we're talking about the reality of our humanness and just being real and relating to one another," Fires said.