A national controversy is set to touch down in Walnut Creek in September.

A Concord man is planning to protest the scheduled Sept. 20 opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant at 2750 N. Main St.

The peaceful protest is aimed at the views of the fast food restaurant's President Dan Cathy, who recently spoke out against gay marriage and has donated millions to conservative organizations that oppose homosexuality.

Rik Newby is organizing the Walnut Creek protest mainly through Facebook. Already more than 200 people have signed on for the all-day action.

"I just felt this business was too conservative for a progressive area like Walnut Creek," he said. "Of course, Dan Cathy is free to say whatever he likes and we are free to exercise our right to act on his freedom of speech."

Newby has always known Chick-fil-A ran on a Christian-based business model, which includes being closed on Sundays. But it's the donations to anti-gay groups that made him want to get the word out to others.

"I don't want to see anyone go out of business, but you have to ask yourself if you are OK with a company in your backyard that promotes an anti-gay agenda," he said.

The event page for the protest is on Facebook at "Picket Chick fil-A opening in Walnut Creek."

A statement on the company's website says the restaurants treats everyone with "honor, dignity and respect" regardless of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation.

"Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," according to the statement.


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The Walnut Creek restaurant is still under construction at the former concrete batch plant site on North Main, as is a 24-Hour Fitness center.

Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.