July 19th, 2012
07:25 AM ET

Chick-fil-A's gay marriage stance causing a social storm

The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that.

But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.

"Guilty as charged," Cathy said when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.

"We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," Cathy is quoted as saying.

Strong feelings of support and disagreement have followed, making Chick-fil-A the top Google trend on Thursday morning as the company's Facebook and Twitter pages were burning up with arguments.

"Hate mongers! Never again! Not another $ from me," Duke Richards wrote on Facebook.

"Goodbye Chikkk-fil-a! your food was delicious, but I can no longer eat nuggets filled with hate!" read a post by Blake Brown.

Eatocracy: Fast food with a side of faith 

"I am truly ashamed of the recent admittance from Mr Cathy about your bigoted company practices. I hate the fact that my money was used for this. I will never support your company (and) will make sure anyone I know does not either," Mikell Kirbis wrote on Facebook. "While I'm not a Christian I know that hate is not in God's plan nor (is) ignorantly picking sections of the Bible to brandish. Good bye and I hope either you change your ways or close down."

But the support for the company was just as vehement.

"Just wanted to say I'm proud that you stand firm in your beliefs. You knew the risks, and still took the plunge. May God bless this company with abundance. Never back down!" said a Facebook post from David Jones.

"Thank you for standing up for what you believe. The truth is not hate. It's just the truth," wrote Sharon R Boyd.

"I love the values that this restaurant stands for and will support it every dang chance I get! Pay no attention to the morons spewing hate!" read a post from Raymond Joy.

Does religion influence what you buy? Share your view on CNN iReport.

Twitter comments were also divided.

[tweet https://twitter.com/MissMerica/status/225806557227667457%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/danforthfrance/status/225812600171139073%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/TheEvilWesley/status/225760117864402944%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/ChuckyMcDaniel/status/225814099492220928%5D

In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, the company said it would stick by its principles, but it tried to withdraw from the heated social media debate over them.

"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. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent owner/operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," said a statement from Don Perry, the company's vice president of corporate public relations.

The Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group, said Wednesday that Cathy's comments gave consumers a clear choice.

“It's strange to say, but it's good to see Chick-fil-A finally admit to their anti-LGBT policies," Michael Cole-Schwartz, the organization's director of communications, told CNN. "Now fair-minded consumers can make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company or take their business elsewhere.  As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality.”

Polling shows increasing support for gay marriage in the United States. A CNN/ORC Poll conducted in late May found 54% of respondents favoring the legal recognition of gay marriage with 42% opposed. The poll had a sampling error of 3%.

Let us know what you think about Chick-fil-A's stance in the comments below.

10 religious companies besides Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A controversy sheds light on restaurant's Christian DNA

soundoff (4,679 Responses)
  1. francois2012

    Dont care, now make me a chicken sandwich.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan Garcia

      Exactly!!! You rock!

      July 19, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Open Minded

      I'll go with you Francois!

      July 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cynic

    No one can peddle hate better than a Christian.

    Look. The proof is all around you.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • ce

      Only if I look for it. I could find anything.

      July 20, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Yes, Christians do hate some things. They hate lies. They hate the truth being distorted. And they hate to see the definition of what marriage is being twisted up. They do not hate gays, or beggars, or drunkards, or diabetics, or thieves. But they cannot say thieving is ok, or even good. That would be a lie, and a distortion of the truth. Further, to say that they are anti-gay is like saying they are anti-thief. They do not go along with the sinful lifestyle of thieving, but they will help the thief, and will tell him the truth, even if he spits in their face and says they discriminate. If the thief calls them names, and hates them, nothing about reality has changed. Reality is where Christians make their home. Hate is the realm of evil. As Jesus says, "you will know them by their fruits".

      July 20, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • TM

      You seem to be doing a good job of it!

      July 20, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Phillip Gross

      or a cynic.....

      July 20, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Yes they seem to have the market cornered on hate.

      July 20, 2012 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Igottagetalife

      looks like those choosing to complain are the ones with hate. The franchise is pretty clear on what their values are all about. I coose to eat there when i want chicken regardless of their politics or anyone elses for that matter. My beliefs are what I practice i don't parade them in front of anyone. I also expect descretion by everyone in front of children.

      Like it or not.

      July 20, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Catwoman

      You must be a Christian, because of your blatant hatred of Christians. And if you are a Christian why don't you walk the walk and don't judge!

      July 20, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Abigail

      Ummm......how is he sticking to his Christian beliefs hate? Help me understand please. There were no quotes around him saying anything "hateful" about being gay. Maybe gay supporters have decided that if you don't support gay marriage, well then that's good enough as being hateful. What the heck? So if I don't support you wearing a type of shoes, does that make me hateful? Let it go people.

      July 20, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • eric

      I am gay and a christian now stop the catholic church provides the most relief in the world for starving people and everything else. In gay marriage they are forced to do a marriage that they dont want to do so they do not support gay marriage calm down its not that big a deal get a civil union like me

      July 20, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • CP Fan

      The only "hate" I have seen on this page, is from the comment thread. A privately owned and operated company can do whatever they want. This is America, after all. Freedom is freedom.

      And for those who are actually surprised at this announcement and decide to boycott by no longer eating at Chick-Fil-A.....if you are gay, how was your experience at Chick-Fil-A the last time you ate there? Was it awful? Were you treated with hate? Were you told to leave or refused service? Were you asked to sit in the back? I was think the answers speak for themselves.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I love how people group all Christians as bigots. Hmmm...isn't it bigotted to say that? Christians screw up just like anyone else. However, this country would fall apart if it wasn't for all the chariatable work Christains do for shelters, food pantries, hospitals, suicide hotlines, women in abusive relationships, child pronographty and on and on. Do your math before you simply say "Christians go away...but umm..keep doing all the charitable work for the rest ouf us". So many ignorant hypocrites out there. What the Hell do Atheists do other than spend theit time bashing religion and the people who actually help others. Do your homework!

      July 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ricky

      You got that right!

      July 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dontbow

      only obamya

      July 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Where is the hate???

      Please show me the hate

      July 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philadelphia

      Just ask a seething Christian-hater.

      July 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • chantayc

      All people hate, even gays and lesbians!! look around you!!

      July 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BEK

      Truer words have never been spoken.

      July 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rosco


      July 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • rosco

      JESUS IS FOR SALE and sick/filet has all the jesus your stupid enough to buy.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • SPENT

      That was a hateful thing to write....

      July 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • C Snead

      You do a very good job of peddling hatred with that silly, comment!

      July 21, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • the Rifleman

      Haters come in all sizes & brands- including so-called "tolerant liberals". Or do you just think liberals are allowed to freely practice their beliefs?

      July 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • xfiler93

      give it a rest. so christians cannot be "opposed" to ANYTHING? even when is violates their moral codes and priniciples? that is the trouble with your kind. no morals, no lines NOT to be crossed, just anything goes uh? outrageous.

      July 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • fed up!

      you ought to look in the mirror and listen to YOURSELF !

      July 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marilyn Adams

      True Christians do not hate gays and lesbians! It is the sin we are concerned about. Sin can not enter into the Kingdom of God. Read 1 Cor. 6:9. Look up the word effenimate. I have always enjoyed Chic-Fil-A and respect them for their stand.

      July 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • bleh

      too true..unfortunately, most christian values are found in those who don't believe in christianity...still trying to find in the bible the part that allows us to alter the meanings when convenient

      July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Open Minded

      Hmmm... stating what you believe is "hate". Really, seems like intolerance is the greater form of hate. And no - I don't agree with the Chic-fil-A beliefs. I just support their right to have beliefs. They don't discriminate against who they serve.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Actually, based on the comments so far, it's the LGBT community and supporters that seems to be full of hate and intolerance. Go figure.

      July 24, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • darquarious

      False! But nice try.
      Standing by NORMAL MARRIAGE is more "hateful" of a religion than what we see every day around the world from the radical Islams huh? You blind or ignorant? Or both?
      Count the body bags, the blown up cities in the middle east.... go to Ground Zero sometime.

      Gays go against normalcy. Why do they even want to conform to society and have someone else give them a piece of paper that states they are married?

      July 26, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      So right brother.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      What is wrong with hate?
      The hate of evil is righteous.
      We hate what He(The Holy God) hates: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
      In Love

      July 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. William

    Good for them.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. kc in nc

    I support Chick Fil A and will continue to do business with them.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • biloxiboi

      Well of course you are. You're from NC where all the psychotic ministers live who want to trap people behind electrified fences and kill them out.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Corey

    I disagree with their stance, but thankfully I don't go there for moral guidance. I go there for chicken. Everyone in this country is free to speak their mind, so they'll continue to get my business until the day they actually start actively discriminating.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • TheyNotHim

      If spending millions of dollars politically to deny gay people the fundamental right to marry whom they like is not active discrimination, they I dont know what is...

      July 19, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • It's a two-way street

      Theynothim dramatically claims millions of dollars spent then plays the dreaded "discrimination" card. LOL. So dramatic... even more pathetic.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan Garcia

      You sir, are a real man!! Good to see someone actually get it!

      July 19, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Imminent

      No one spent or gave millions of dollars against an anti-gay campaign. We don't like liars on the CNN message boards. Thanks for stopping by.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaylee

      Corey (back on page 1), that was the first normal and sane response I have read on here. I don't agree with their views, but they are not actively harming anyone. Shame on the view, not on the food.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Open Minded

      Yeah Corey! I'm with you!

      July 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • biloxiboi

      Indisbelief states "When I go out to eat, I pay for my meal. That MONEY now belongs to the restaurant because I paid them for a service, the meal they prepared."

      Your logic is flawed. We, whether conscious or not, vote with our wallets.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mary

    The owners of Chik-fil-A have a right to believe what they wish, and you, as a consumer, have a right to eat there or refuse to eat there.

    An important component of Freedom is putting up with people with whom you disagree.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • SensibleGirl

      Mary, you're missing the point entirely. No one is complaining about BELIEFS. People are stating that they won't give their money anymore to a company that will turn around and give MONEY to organizations that actively promote discrimination. It's about how they spend the money of the customers, ultimately. And yeah, it's our right to not give them any more dollars. I used to eat there. I don't now. Neither do my friends.

      July 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • InDisbelief

      THIS REPLY IS TO SENSIBLEGIRL WHO SAID: "Mary, you're missing the point entirely. No one is complaining about BELIEFS. People are stating that they won't give their money anymore to a company that will turn around and give MONEY to organizations that actively promote discrimination. It's about how they spend the money of the customers, ultimately. And yeah, it's our right to not give them any more dollars. I used to eat there. I don't now. Neither do my friends."

      When I go out to eat, I pay for my meal. That MONEY now belongs to the restaurant because I paid them for a service, the meal they prepared.

      I NO LONGER have a choice what that restaurant does with my money because its NO LONGER MINE! I am going to guess that YOU have a job. When you get paid, does your workplace have the right to tell you WHERE and WHAT you can spend your money on? What if they said you go out and drink at *insert name* bar. We don't like that bar so we want our money back or you have to stop going there. Do they have that right? You earned that money.

      When you eat there it now becomes THEIR money. If they choose NOT to donate to certain organizations, its THEIR RIGHT, THEIR CHOICE, and THEIR MONEY.

      If I choose not to donate my money to certain organizations, I don't HAVE TO! What gives you or anyone else the right to tell people WHERE they have to donate money to? What's worse, is that you cannot even comprehend this!

      Its the old DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO at its finest.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mark

    Well, I like Chic Fil A but hardly ever eat there. So I think I'll start eating there more now.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Get a job Hippies

    Hooray for Chick Fil A!!!! when did this country become one where you were not allowed to have a viewpoint that was different from what the far left has. they want to choose to be gay fine, we choose not to. i will be going to my local Chick Fil A soon as a sign of support! Maybe Dan Cathy could be the VP pick for Mitt???

    July 19, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      That's how it is with Socialism. You say anything against the party and they will send thier goons after you.

      July 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Open Minded

      Let's not be polarizing. Gays are not limited to "far left" ideolgies. I have more gay friends that are "Log Cabin Republicans" than "far left" supporters. Cheney's daugher did not come from the far left and she may even have eaten chic-fil-a on her honeymoon! ; )

      July 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Open Minded

      Sorry to burst your bubble but not "all gays" are "left"...many are in YOUR party....you are seriously naive.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ducdebrabant

    I don't know if there's a Chick Fil A in New York City to boycott. We have better food here AND more decent people to eat it. It must be a great day for Mr. Cathy when he can give a black eye to Americans, southerners, Christians and fried chicken all at the same time.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Stay where you are

      New York City... a great place to store the liberal extremists. Please don't leave unless you're migrating to California, haven of the wackos.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Yeah, we should all have numbers instead of names and no opinions! What is wrong with him?

      July 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • ensense

      And you call them haters' when you have so much hate against southerners, Christian's your self, practice what you preach.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • InDisbelief

      @ DUCDEBRABANT WHO SAID: "I don't know if there's a Chick Fil A in New York City to boycott. We have better food here AND more decent people to eat it. It must be a great day for Mr. Cathy when he can give a black eye to Americans, southerners, Christians and fried chicken all at the same time."

      REALLY? So NOW people don't have a right to donate money where they want to or believe what they want to? When did that stop?

      July 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jim

    Thank God For Chickk Fill A....Why is it that in our country if you offend a gay person the media is all up in arms, but if you offend a Christian, it is no big deal?

    July 19, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • pipster

      I admire Chick Fil-a for standing up for their beliefs. Why are Christians the only ones that can be bashed and made fun of anymore? This is not hate, but simply a belief system from a company with strong values. Gays believe they're right in choosing their lifestyle and I agree that they have the right to make their own decisions, but that doesn't mean I have to support it and neither does Chick Fil-A or anyone else.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Edward C

      There is a big difference. I have never heard of a gay that wants to force others to be gay. They want to be equal amongst society. On the other hand, I have lost count of the number of Christians who try to force their putrid Dogmatic views down my throat. Sorry if I don't wish to live my life wearing a ball and chain, and adopt my morals from the best selling fictional book of all time!

      July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Imminent

      There are two types of straights and gays in this country. One side has gays/straights actively imposing their points of view. Some of it is simply intolerant and hateful. People like Edward C think they're helping when they're are not.

      The other side, has gays/straights trying to express their points of view in a positive way. Guess which side is respected and doing more for society?

      July 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catherine


      July 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. FM in MN

    I've never eaten at a Chic-fil-A, but I will now!
    Good to see there are still some Christians in this country with spiritual backbone.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Edward C

      I can't wait until I meet a Christian with a mind of their own. I wonder what fictional work I can adopt my morals and principles from?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • ensense

      Wow Edward you can profess your belief about the bible as fictional and not be a bigot but god forbid somebody does not belief in your gay philosophy and they become intolerant, bigoted, discriminatory etc etc.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imminent

      Edward, it's obvious you're intolerant of religion or religious people. I think you got your subject matter posted on the wrong message board.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • bleh

      since when did jesus say no gays? stop trying to interpret your almighty god...yay!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Larry

    I'll take the filet without the side of hatred, please. Which means I'll buy it from The Colonel and not these so-called Christians.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      PSSSSttt...the Colonel is a white Southern gentleman and was a mascot at Ole Miss. The PC came after him too.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. RLGESQ1

    Why is "hate" the best rebuttal to traditional marriage that gay marriage supporters can come up with?

    July 19, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • tfbuckfutter

      RLGESQ1, A better question is how do gays "threaten" traditional marriage? Why can there only be one?

      And I'm not gay. You'd be surprised how many straight people support gay rights.....it's because they can actual see beyond HATRED and see EQUALITY.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • person

      Gay marriage supporters do not hate straight marriage. The hate goes in the other direction, as a quick reading of the comments on this board make clear.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mar

      because they hate traditional marriage

      July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      RLGESQ1 why are bible references and "its adam and eve not adam and steve" the only argument against gay marriage?

      July 19, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Miss Trixie

      Because THEY are the actual bigots. If you don't think like they do you are called names. They also throw tantrums like small children.

      July 19, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • KH6643

      That and bigot. That is the only way they make themselves feel right about their choices.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • PevanB

      I see hate only from the gay community and their supporters YOU people are the ones talking about not going to the restaurant anymore you are bigots and haters not us. We just have an opinion that we share and you attack us

      July 19, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. tfbuckfutter

    Everyone knows if you support "traditional families" you can't support any other type of families.

    People can only support ONE thing. Period. There is no way someone could go to Chik-Fil-A one day and McDonald's the next. That would be blasphemous!

    (BTW, has anyone noticed the anti-gay stance has taken on the "traditional values defender" moniker just like "anti-choice" is actually "pro-life" in their eyes?)

    July 19, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      In response to your previous post, does that mean you support polygamy? What about incest, or pedophilia, or beasiality. I assure you the people who believe in these thing feel that they are just as much a family as yours or mine. And none of these other different types of families harm yours in any way. You state that you are for "marriage equality", so my original question still stands. Do you support plural marriage? Do you support immediate family marriage, or child marriage, or love of animals? I would consider your answer carefully, because if your answer is anything other than "yes, I fully support everyones equal right to marry the person or persons of their choice. I support full marriage equality", than you are not only a hateful bigot, but you are also a hypocryte. I await your response.

      July 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    wow, where is the toggle to link to my facebook. Typical CNN. PC bunch of a&* @$%^s. I have only eaten at Chick Fila once in the last 15 yrs, but now, I think I will more.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • tfbuckfutter

      You'll go out of your way to spend money to oppress people?

      That's the kind of man you want to be?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • PevanB

      @flutterbudget or whatever your name is – I will eat there now. You however will not becasue you hate people that differ from your opinion what a bigot! We have an opinion and share it and you get your tidy whites in a bunch get over it you have opinions and I am fine with that but don't hate a person for having one. what a hater that makes you.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
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