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. Ganan

    @Heather: Yes GOD'S rule--remember him?????

    July 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. alison figueroa

    I am glad chic fil a stood behind their belief. They never stated they hated the gay community, they simply stated what a family is. It is a tragedy that people are afraid of written doctrine and are so quickly offended by a fact. I love chic fil a's food and my "family" and I will continue to support them.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. teambringitstrong

    Wow, seriously the so called progressives have me shaking my head. Why is it when someone disagrees with you you call them hateful and bigoted and racist? Why condemn them for having an opinion that is contrary to yours? Have they denied access or service to the LGBT community?
    While I agree a percentage of opinions and rulings and ideal are rooted in bigotry and hate and racism, this is hardly one of them.

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

      Agree completely, stating your beliefs are not hatred or bigoted unless they cross that line. Chik-fil-a can believe what they chose and make these statements. So is it bigoted or full of hatred if I state. " people who are against Gay marriage are stupid, ignorant and otherwise prejudiced against others civil rights?" or is not just bigoted and full of hate when i link it to the Bible.....?

      July 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brian

    Im hungry, where is the closest Chick Fil-A, gotta support this place.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mr Dalloway

    As a gay man I try not to get offended when I hear an opinion that's anti-gay. We have the right to feel what we feel but should try to be more understanding of our differences. No two people are exactly the same anyhow.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Myoung

    He did not say he hated the couples involved in a gay marriage he just said he did not believe it aligned with his beliefs. The Bible defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. As a matter of fact he did not talk derogatory about any individual. He simply has a defintion of marriage defined by the Bible that he is willing to stand by. Not flip flop, not appease others, not for profit. So don't go there. I don't think it will bother him if his profits drop. He has greater priorities.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JUSTME69

    Why do gay's always have to force thier life styles down our throats?..I dont care if your gay or straight or swing both ways. keep it to yourself. The dont ask dont tell.......who's asking? I dont want to know, I dont care. I dont hate gays..but i dont aprove in thier life style. Its my belief and just as you have yours, I have mine. Just as you want to have yours, I'll have mine. No need to get all ugly about it. I except your feelings, now except mine..and if you can't then you have to ask yourself who is the one hateing?

    July 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • indorri

      Again, false equivocation. Chik-fil-A has donated money and resources to organisations advocating against marriage equality. Marriage equality proponents have not spent resources making sure Chik-fil-A patrons can't get married.

      Pretending otherwise is lying, a sin.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • GREGG

      then give them their civil rights to take advantage of all the advantages Men and women have when they marry, call it what you choose, leave the word marriage out of it. But give them the same rights. This weak Biblical argument was used to try and prevent interracial marriage also... "it was an abomination, against God's law" it was also discriminatory....

      July 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Norm

    I've always thought Chic Fil A was a pretty gay name.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rose

    Wahoo for standing for what you believe! And Mr. Cathy did not say he hated gays, would not hire gays, or would ban gays, only that we believed in something marriage as God intended. Seems to me it's the gays doing the hating!

    July 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James Templeton

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient Romans 1: 26-28. Argue with God, we who trust in his word and are saved by his grace are not trying to tell you how to live, we will proclaim his word and wish that those laws which were adopted by men of God in the beginning be honored, so if you have scripture from the Bible that supports your way of life please post it.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • GREGG

      make sure you include all the "kill this or that" scriptures too, when you quote the Bible. If you quote it literally and expect it to be followed then follow all of it, not just the ones you like.... You Christians are so hypocritical to almost be comical. You do not get to pick and choose the "rules" you like or fit your world view. And then fall back on the "man's imperfection" to explain away where you come up so far short of all of scripture..... Religion is a crutch for the ignorant and the masses used to control Man and his view of the world, been that way through history and people like you show that it is still doing it.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike cool

    Thank you Chic-Fil-A for standing up and stating your honest opinion. I will continue to support your restaurant and I am very proud that you have a strong spirit of Family Values. God Bless you!

    July 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |

    This guy's selling chicken . Why would anyone want to turn away profits by blurring the lines of your business and religion. If he was smart ,he would have kept his opinion to himself. If his "Bottom line" falls off ,it's his own damn fault.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jessica Roberts

    I appreciate the fact that they have their own beliefs and are standing with them. They aren't being hateful about it. They aren't saying gay people can't work/ eat there. They just voiced their opinion. Unlike the boy scouts who are being discriminatory, they are just being what they believe. No hate.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Randy Paulson

    I honestly don't care that Chic-fil-a stands by that belief. What I do care about is people transferring their faith based beliefs into politics to force it onto the rest of us.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Advizor


      You complain about people who inject "faith based" beliefs into politics, but where else to opinions come from? you have "faith" in something, be it socialism, capitalism, humanism, etc. You believe in something and then advocate for that to be implemented. Don't think for a second that you are any different than the Christians, they just have the courage to say what you do not.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |

      ADVIZOR-Maybe it's time to take a "REFRESHER" course in Christianity and not just pray to plaster statues and eat flavorless communion wafers that serves as a cannibalistic ritual.To bad they don't have the "Courage" to expose CHILD-MOLESTERS or talk about BLOWING UP WOMENS'S HEALTHCARE FACILITIES and the VATICAN RATLINE the same way they judge others lifestyles.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CDS

    I do not view Mr. Cathy's response as hate. He has a right as an American, just as we do, in his opinion and I admire him for this. We are customers of Chick-fil-A and the employees are courteous and frineldy to everyone. As Christians, we need to believe the word and live according to the word of God. We are blessed to live in a country that allows freedom of speech and along the way I see those who support gay marriage. When asked about your belief, I think you have a right to voice your opinion whether an individual or a company. I did not have to ask Mr. Cathy what his belief was knowing their christian values and I would think most others would have known without asking. There are trouble makers who enjoy starting controversy and are constantly looking to do so. I wish Chic-fil-A the best and wish there were more businesses like it. They are great supporters in the community and I appreciate them.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172