07/26/2012 06:33 pm ET

Chick-Fil-A Protests In Laguna Hills Disrupt Restaurant Opening (VIDEO)

Protestors turned out at the opening of a new Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Laguna Hills Thursday to protest CEO Dan Cathy's anti-gay marriage stance, reports ABC 7.

The demonstration interfered with the grand opening ceremony planned for the day, and restaurant owners decided to send hundreds of fans home early with their food.

"Because we knew of a potential protest this morning, we wanted to make sure those parties didn't conflict with each other," said Skip Macharg of Chick-Fil-A to ABC 7.

Check out ABC 7 to see what Chick-Fil-A supporters had to say about the protests.

In an interview with Baptist Press last week, Cathy responded, "guilty as charged" when asked if he supported "the traditional family."

He later reiterated his position more explicitly in an appearance on the Ken Coleman show:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage," and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.

Chick-Fil-A's Christian foundations (the chain isn't open Sundays) are well-known, and gay-rights advocates have publicized the company's donations to anti-gay groups for years.

When a Chick-Fil-A restaurant opened in Hollywood last year, about two dozen protesters showed up to picket the joint.

However, Cathy's recent remarks seem to have lit a fire under LGBT activists across the country. The Jim Henson Company ended its commercial relationship with the chain restaurant in a show of solidarity for gay rights, and local officials across the nation have vowed to keep Chick-Fil-A from their city limits.