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.

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"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.

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soundoff (4,679 Responses)
  1. Wendell Powers

    I can totally appreciate the stance that Chick-Fil-A has taken on the Gay marriage issue!! Biblical truth is spoken and family values is where it is at. The bible states a marriage between a man and woman period no room for arguement.
    The Christian values the company has is awesome (closed sundays etc..) Good job to all @ the company. I will always support your restaurants.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sam

    Does everyone realize that 95% of the things "you" consum "daily" is produced by a company and or country in one way shape of form that doesn't support equal rights or oppresses its people! Don't buy gas for your car today because it was produced in a country that oppresses women...I bet you will purchase gas today! If someone doesn't agree with you gives you no right to wish them or their business harm! Put down your table computer, get off your cell and take off your cloths that you are wearing and your gold and diamond "wedding band"(recognized or not recognized by the government) because they were all produced by or in a oppressed country or oppressive company! Get over yourself and let's ban together to fight what is really going on "poverty".

    July 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • RBLDUDE14

      FANTASTIC! No one can argue the points you just made. Your reasoning is superb my friend.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ganan

    HORRAY for Chick-fil-a-–I will CONTINUE to eat there. They are abiding by GOD's rules-–not society's.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      god's rule? lmao... crazy how people who are "good christians" are the ones who judge others the most... aren't you people supposed to love thy neighbor or whatever?

      July 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • God's rules, society's inspectors

      I wonder what you would say if the company would follow god's rules (hey, are they kosher?) but not the health inspectors' rules about food hygiene, cleanliness and so on.
      Well, based on your comment, you'd probably keep eating contaminated food, just out of spite, and because it could reunite you with your god a bit faster. Food poisoning, your short cut to heaven.. Off you go, all the best.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • bananaspy

      And what exactly are God's rules? The ten commandments? The 613 commandments? Something in the Torah? Something in the Qu'ran? Something in the hundreds of other religious texts the world has bore over the centuries? Nobody knows. So until "God" wants to stick his face out of the sky and speak to us, all at once, and directly, we are the only beings here to decide the rules.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • DENNIS HILL

      Why does a Christian get abused for their belief in the Bible? Because we all know of the conviction it brings. How in the name of God can you as a believer ever consider such an atrocity? Since the Bible is against it, so am I. Call me whatever you want, we will see who's right in the end. I will not hurt anone for there choice of lifestyle, but give me the same respect. I will never accept this is a correct way to live! I support Chick -f-il-A. haJd, pd

      July 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    Freedom of speech only allowed when they agree with your opinion?
    I don't care one way or the other, I believe that people have the right to do what they want, as long as they don't hurt other people with it. But it sounds like from some of those quotes, that the real hatred comes from the very people who complain about people hating on them.....

    July 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Clarity

    Chik-fil-A is just a company that has worked hard to get where it is today through good service and good food. I don’t believe that it is their political stance on Gay marriage that has gotten them this far. Maybe it is their personal ethics that has. Whatever they believe they have good chicken. I believe that in this country we all have different beliefs and ideas and that we can voice them. I don’t believe that there needs to be a loss of civility while sharing our ideas or Beliefs. Name calling and sharp empty thoughtless comments serve little, if no, purpose other than to bang a drum of hate in this nation. This hate is like a cancer to all of our freedoms no matter what political stance you have. This hate clouds reason, and stagnates everyone’s progress. I don’t support any side doing this. I do enjoy peoples thought provoking comments based in well thought out reason that challenges or supports my own beliefs. I don’t believe that Mr. Cathy’s comments were meant to be hateful as stated in the above statement. I think that he should be proud of his accomplishments as a married person in this day and age. Just because he has Christian beliefs and has shared them because he was asked doesn’t make him a hate monger like some of the Christians you might know. It is really too bad that because there are a few mongers on either side (and in the media) that make this adult discussion a Juvenile explosion.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      @Clarity You do realize that the company spent millions to try to defeat gay marriage in California, don't you? The problem isn't their beliefs.. its that they seek to impose them on everyone else.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RBLDUDE14

    To me it seems that the hate is for chickens. I mean come on, MASS GENOCIDE to chickens is happening right in front of us, and you Libs are worried about christian BELIEFS? Come on, think of the chicken families.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      No, we are worried that this company is spending millions to try to keep gay marriage illegal. Its not just their beliefs. Its their actions.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dan

    Eat mor chikin!!

    July 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. watercookie

    No more Chick-fil-A for me. 🙁

    July 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. PK

    Chicken mcNuggets taste better

    July 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cook from Hell

    I don't eat at Chick-fil-A because, like all fast foods, their food is not healthy. The classic chicken sandwich has 1400mg of sodium and is high in fat and cholestrol. Go to their web site and see the nutritional info. They sell heart attack food.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    I think I will buy TWO instead of one next time I stop at a Chick Fil A!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chick Fil Nasty

    Worked here- dirty, nasty, filthy kitchens- clean areas for customers so they dont suspect how bad it is. stupid people. id never eat at this place- enjoy your chicken patties that were dropped on the dirty floor than served to unsuspecting customers.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MakesNoSense

    Some people support Chick-Fil-A for their anti-gay beliefs. And, these same people support a non-Christian (i.e., Mormon) for President. Odd, huh?

    July 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tobin

    I applaud Chik Fil A !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is GREAT that they have not given in to these sickos! I will be dining their more frequently knowing that they stood up for what is right!

    July 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cincinnati Mom

    So, Chick-Fil-A says they don't support gay marriage–I don't get why to some people disagreement spells "hate." Does that mean Chick-Fil-A should support first cousins getting married, fathers marrying stepdaughters, or brothers marrying sisters if someone else thinks that they should?

    July 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      The big deal is that its not simply support in some abstract sense. The company spent millions to try to stop gay marriage in California. When you try to force your religious morality on others through law that is hate.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here go the "Christians" again.... Intolerance and Bigotry

      So ridiculous... but then again, what can you expect from people who are so hypocritical?!?!? Be a good Christian, bla bla bla – but if you are different in ANY way from them – steer clear because you are going to hell. Frickin stupid. This is a free country people. Be gay – get married – who cares. Let it go already...

      July 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
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