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. Timmyc

    I am amazed that there is so much bruhaa over this issue in 2012. My husband and I have eaten there delicious chicken for years but NO more. Cathy, get educated.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. ChristopherM

    They support families? Well I have a family too. If they truly want to support the bibilical definition of families, they would support a man + a woman + a woman + a woman + a concubine. But of course that isn't acceptable anymore. Neither is using my money to promote disenfranchising my family. They won't have my money any more.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • scott

      You do understand that every polygamy marriage in the Bible was screwed up. Whether it be Abraham – Sarah jealous, Issac – loved one hated the other, David – murdered wife's former husband (and his close friend), Soloman – married hundreds that led him astray into sin he wrote Proverbs, and Eccl. about it. The Bible also says that three cords are not easily broken (man, woman, God).

      July 19, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. AdamandEve

    Too bad there is no Chick_fil-a where I live. I just got a sudden urge to eat fried chicken

    July 19, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • S-Hawk

      If you've got a taste for only right wings, that's the 'chikin' place for you

      July 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fintastic

    No more of my money for Chick-fil-a-racist

    July 19, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • You're the racist

      Race is not the issue, tool. Nice try though.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • fintastic

      Lets make that Chick-fil-a-bigot........ happy now?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Josh Lillie

    Standing up for “christian principles”? I’d say 99% of America’s “christians” have no clue what a Christian principal is. These are “Christian principles” and they would make most “christians” spontaneously vomit followed by relentless ranting about “bleeding heart liberalism”.

    • Love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you.
    • Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the Earth.
    • Sell all of your possessions and give it to charity.
    • If someone steals your coat, offer them your shirt.
    • Give to Caesar what is Caesars, to God what is God’s. (referring to unfair taxes)
    • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    • It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
    • For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

    Are these Chick-Fil-A’s principals?

    July 19, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • S-Hawk

      Probably not, nor of their patrons, but it's always so convenient for most Christians how they get to pick and choose what it means

      July 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Laura

    Oh by the way I'm going to spend my money at Chick-fil-A today!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Norm

    The name is CHIC fill a...not DUDE fill a...

    July 19, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Clian Kocol

    We gays don't care for Chick-fil-A because its food are junk and unhealthy. Too bad some conservatives are overweight and have huge beer bellies. They are unattractive!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      You can tell a conservative from a liberal by the size of their belly? Wow, that's talent!

      July 19, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • A fat lip for ya'

      Too bad ALL Liberals run off at the mouth without pause for thought.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. mountainlover

    I will be going to this restaurant today to show support for them.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Licinfl

    Chick-Fil-A can donate/support whatever organizations it wishes. In doing so I am sure the understand that like any choice there are logical consequences. There will be people who will patronize their restaurants more because of their social/political stance and those like myself who will no longer patronize them at all. That's just the way the world works. End of Story.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. s

    these articles tick me off. you never hear about this company actively pushing any sort of christian "agenda" but let someone give affirmation of the christian values they hold and the media tries to make out like it's world war III. i think their point of view is outdated and based on fear, ignorance and yes, bigotry, but you don't see chik-fil-a representatives or employees actively going around stirring up hate. the man granted an interview to A BAPTIST media outlet, did ppl expect him to advocate FOR gay marriage? it wold be like castigating the pope for not supporting abortion.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Allen R. Scott

    The Chicken was not that good

    July 19, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. A. Jones

    Go Chick Fil-A! Way to be courageous by standing up for good righteous morals. We need more companies that are less concerned with PC and more concerned with the moral compass of America. I will never understand why some people think that espousing a belief in traditional marriage is hate? The bigotry and hypocrisy from the left is amazing.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Tracey

      I completely agree! Just because people have different value's and beliefs doesn't equal hate. Good for them for sticking up for what they believe in!

      July 19, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sue

    So-called "Christians" are the most bigoted people. They are the most judgmental

    July 19, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. florence

    I didnt see a tiny bit of hate in what was said..if you take a stand for what is right dont expect not to get the back lash

    July 19, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
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