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. Imagine

    Chick-fil-A is an awesome example on how to stand up for principles that they believe in. We have forgone other fast food chains to support Chick-fil-A and have seen so many others as well. With this stance, we believe it will only enhance thier image. Thank goodness for Chick-fil-A!!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      "We have forgone other fast food chains to support Chick-fil-A " Are you saying you WORSHIP THEM? That's just wrong. I don't want to be eating in their crummy dining room when a bomb goes off, so I'll go somewhere where they don't pick fights with the customers, thanks.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • darinstreaks

      went there today for lunch after I read the story. although I'm indifferent on the topic, people should be free to chose their lifestyles as long as it doesn't encroach on another, i support a principled stand by any company.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      "free to chose their lifestyles as long as it doesn't encroach on another," Cool, so as long as they don't donate millions to anti-gay hate groups, no problem? Enjoy your hate nuggets.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    I support Chick-fil-A's decision. I will be spending more money for the one's that don't. lol Maybe this world will get back to what it once stood for......

    July 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Phillip,

      I support your views 100%. I as well, appreciate your stance. God Bless you!

      Dan

      July 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michael

    Good grief. I am gay, but I support Chik-fil-a's decision to run their business using Christian beliefs. Do I agree? No. Will I eat there again? Probably not. However, this is a free country and people can stand up for their personal beliefs and run their own businesses according to those beliefs. It is their right whether we like it or not. If you are so upset, just don't buy food from them. Such drama queens. Geez...

    July 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP

      Geez. The guy has a belief. It does not make him a hater. I do not agree with the gay lifestyle. It does not make me hate my gay friends. I would not be married if my gay bowling partner had not set me up on a date with my future wife at the time. They are probably my better friends at helping out when I need it. This is a lifestyle choice and nothing more. Maybe if the LGBT community would quit trying to shove their lifestyle in everyone's face, more people would be accepting.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James

    Isn't it ironic that those who are accusing CFA of "hate" then go on to wish ill to CFA. Sounds like they need to take their own counsel.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      I'm not wishing them ill; I just believe that they are wrong. Since they take the money they get from me and give it to hate groups, they can't have any more of my money. If they go broke and get hounded out of business completely, it will be God's Will™.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dani3l

    Never eaten there. And with this, now I never will.

    Do they make blacks sit in the back? Are women allowed to make their own orders, or do those have to be placed by their husbands?

    Please think about the things "Christian" values have been used to justify in the past. This is no different.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kickballhead

    Praise the Lord!! I'm buying some stock.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer

    When in this country did it become acceptable to villify a person or company for a difference of values or opinions?? If you don't support the Chick-Fil-A President's viewpoint on gay marriage, and it is important enough to you to refuse them your business, that is your right to express that opinion. Christians have no fewer rights to determine their own moral code and express that opinion, however, than you do.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jacob Duncan

    Join the Facebook page LGBT Community Against Chick-fil-a of you support equality for all peoples, and refuse to frequent a business that is so out of touch with the actual values of America.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Josh

    No kidding.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. zzzzz

    I guess, "more chicken" slogan is "more of my values on you". R the cows in the commercial good christians, and up to their standards: sacrifising chickens for their own good... Does it make them also a good Xtian using non-xristian cows in their commercials? Mooo ...

    July 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      @zzzzz

      Quote: I guess, "more chicken" slogan is "more of my values on you". It s ok for gays to have a parade every year though and throw their values in everyone's faces though ... am I right? Just because you don't agree with someones way of life doesn't mean you're a bigot or hate them. Obviously people here don't agree with with Mr. Cathy's. Stop whining FFS!! If pedophilia was legal would you all be loving their lifestyle too? Nope ... why? Because it goes against your values!

      July 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      "! If pedophilia was legal would you all be loving their lifestyle too? Nope ... why? Because it goes against your values!"
      Wow, what a hatebag YOU are. Pedophilia goes against everyone's values. That's like me saying "If you could marry sheep, every one of you Christians would dump your wives." Like that one? You can have it.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Liz

    I love Chik Fil A and this is .. very disappointing. I've never questioned their religious tons and affliation but I always figured their monetary charity support was going to good valued organizations like fights against cancer or something innoculous that values good core beliefs such as dignity and respect. Defense of Marriage / Anti Gay marriage organizations are NOT in line with whats been sold to us for generations by Chik Fil A. As long as they're using their money to support things like that I can't see myself buying their food every again. They wouldn't have that money if it wasn't for us loyal customers. As a loyal customer i can't support chik fil a eveni f they have every right to believe what they believe. They just don't have a right to ask me to spend my money with them and break my own values.

    Respect, Love, and Understanding. Chik Fil A no longer stands for this and its rather sad.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ray D Senn

    About the matter of Chick-Fill- A stop think the time has come that we releaise that all persons eat chicken and enjoy it.
    thus when those who believe in what is right spend their money then we have the same right as others after we pay the same taxes Also the owner has purchased the right to run his Firm as he wants to THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY thanks

    July 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    I now plan to eat at Chick Fil A at least once every week for the rest of my life.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      You can have my chair. I won't be sitting there from now on.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J.knox

    It's about time for a major company take this stand. I will support this company and pull my support from all companies that support this ungodly gay movement. Chick-fil-A, you have my support, stay the course and don't let the crying of the gays move you.....

    July 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Myto Senseworth

    Gay = mental problem. It needs to be cured not praised. I don't hate gays, I just think they are suffering from a malfunctioning brain.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Damian

      Be sure to report your findings to the God that created them.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Essie

      Please present your scientific credentials, because the rest of the science community disagrees with you.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Safe in Texas

      Ditto and I WILL keep supporting Chick-fil-A – probably now more than ever! Kudos for someone having the cajones to stand up to the liberal idiocracy.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • indorri

      The APA disagrees with you and has since the 1970s. Keep up with the times.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • mav

      Really?!

      July 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Myto Senseworth

      I don't believe in any sky wizard. I just have the same view on this subject. The brain is not wired to match the body....problem.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Myto Senseworth

      The scientists once thought the world was fllat too. Believe what you want but It is still a malfunction of the mind. You can call a dog's tail a 5th leg....but it's still a tail.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Yes, you think it's a mental problem. Thinking it is doesn't make it science. Science has clearly stated gays are born gay. There's a big difference between thinkinbg something may be true, and something being true. Do everyone a favor and do some research.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
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