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.

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soundoff (4,679 Responses)
  1. spike

    Can I marry a chicken? Is that OK with Chickfila?

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

      Yes you can...just not in a Catholic Church.Raping young boys IS ,however O.K.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tobin

    Its not OK to be GAY.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • cf

      Is being gay worse than being a child-raping Christian?

      July 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Newyorker

      But it's OK to be a bigoted azzhole? Actually, it's OK to be both, because there is NO God.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. G

    I don't know about the "hate-mongering" aspect of this story, but its clearly obvious that the Chik-Fil-A corporation does not support civil rights.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Aw G, We can disagree without being disagreeable can't we? That must have fallen off the teleprompter. You don't hear that much anymore.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AC360

    I command yee not eat here. AC

    July 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MEGAN

    Who eats there anyway? It CLEARLY states on their product ingredients that they use MSG. Their food is nasty and it takes a week to recover from a meal eaten there. Glad to have given it up. Now doubly glad.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      It was time to consider salads anyway Meg. Ya gotta keep trim for that gal or (ew guy) to notice you

      July 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cf

    So if I opened a restuarant that discriminated against Christians, would everyone here that is supporting Chick-Fil-A also support my right and decision to do so?

    July 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Syre. Just as soon as our positions 'evolved' on Chickens marrying each other.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • GREGG

      Now that is the perfect reply.... BRAVO!

      July 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Early Morning Nut aasortment pack

    All of us 500 inmates in this local prison support food in all forms, regardless of political taint.
    We close one eye while chomping left or right wing and smile.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Canadian Jim

    Just a note here to Chik-fil-a – your business is about to suffer, and that's okay it's your business and it's a free country. Here's the thing though, when people boycott they go somewhere else to buy something they wanted. No one, and I mean no one, is going to only come to CHik-fil-a as there sole source of fast food. WHile the people who are too lazy to change habits will still come. Everyone who cares about the issue will get great enjoyment about watching stores close.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shuffler

      You're going to be sorely disappointed.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Shuffler

    Pro family.... guess I need to start eating there now. My wife, daughters and grandkids love the place. If the hate mongers want to eat elsewhere great.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jim

    Filthy dick sucking poop eating Sodomites want you to bend over and kiss their feet and take it up the poop hole.....

    July 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • indorri

      You're a pervert.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Church of Suicidal

      Somehow my elegantly-worded response to Jim's post was censored and his post remains up. Tell me again how CNN has a liberal bias.

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

    As for Christians, some are beautiful people and these are the ones you don't hear spewing the kind of vulgar, hateful rhetoric we hear so much of today.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. D

    anti-gay, anti-freedom, anti-civil rights...it's all the same.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nick

    If you don't like what the owners of this private company say then don't give them your business. This is the beauty of the freedom we have in the capitalist system. You can choose to support them with your money or you can choose to boycott them. Either way they have the freedom of speech and you have your freedom too. If a company does terrible things, they will loose business and go away; they only exist because of your business.

    Unfortunately we are moving away from the capitalist system and bad companies still survive and people still give them business (who cancelled their "too big to fail" bank accounts after they destroyed our economy and the govt. bailed them out? Still have that AIG insurance? Buy a GM Car?)

    Socialist systems don't give you a choice. For example: you don't agree with your local police chief's comments, but you can't stop paying taxes to them (legally). Or, you would rather pay your doctor in cash and get a steep discount rather than having health insurance, too bad that's no longer allowed (legally without a penalty). You don't want your tax money buying free car seats for the "poor" parents who install them in their Cadillac Escilades, too bad... no choice (happens more often than you think).

    July 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. EndTheHate

    Please don't try to forbid marriage amongst those our Lord God created g a y...

    1 Timothy 4:1-5

    Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart
    from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings
    of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are
    seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God
    created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know
    the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be
    rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the
    word of God and prayer.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. paul

    There is no social storm going on over Chick Fil A 's support of true marriage. It's all a front propped up by the liberal press and their far left extremist ideals.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
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