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. Charlotte, NC

    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hayden

      God may bless them but remember as it is held true on earth so to shal it be in heavan. And people condem others that are bigoted, ignorant and just straight up boneheaded.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Getting sick of the gays and all of their freakin issues.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • JDinHouston

      Getting sick of the Christians and all their freaking issues.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cameron

    J.R. Did your daddy forget to give you Scientific facts to back that statement?

    July 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Traci K Monger

    I still love their food and I applaud them for sticking to their beliefs.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cameron

    Good Lord Jesus theres a fire and all those queens are hot and bothered by it. Aint nobody got time for that....

    July 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CHUCK

    WHY IS EVERYONE THAT IS AGAINST WHAT THE OWNER HAS SAID, IS CONTINUALLY USING THE WORD "HATE"..WHY DO LIBERALS CONTINUE TO ATTACK ANY BELIEF THAT IS NOT THERE OWN AS, "HATE" OR "RACIST".?
    OR WHATEVER BUZZ WORD THEY COME UP WITH.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FLIndependent

    Many on here are saying that Gays are the hateful ones that are trying to suppress Christians....really??? By asking for equal rights and being able to marry the ones they love they are being hateful towards Christians? I just don't get it...it is you "Christians" that want to deny a gay HUMAN BEING equal rights, not the other way around.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charlotte, NC

    Yall jumping on Chick-fil-A, what about your local energy company, gas station, bank, clothing from China, Wal-Mart, etc etc etc etc. Delta AIrlines? But that is what whinning liberals do. Grow some

    July 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      My bank hires african americans to work in customer facing roles without concern that the customer might leave and not do business with my bank because african americans are so unattractive. My bank has never fired anyone for not going to church. My bank has never refused to serve a customer for holding hands with their spouse. My bank has never donated money to groups that exist entirely to oppose members of my family and friends of mine.

      The problem isn't that they are a business. The problem is that they have specific business practicess that are objectionable, and in some cases flat out illegal.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    Why is it that religion has been at the root of so many wars and conflicts through the ages? I don't know of one war or conflict that killed people ever started over some gay issue. And all this in the name of one's God justifies the killing. Total BS Jesus Jugs

    July 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KeraD

    If you dont stand for something then you'll fall for anything. Mr Cathy was simply stated what he believes. He in no way made any derogatory statments about gays or the gay community. Since when is standing up for your beliefs considered hate. In that case why is it not considered hate when the gay community attempts to get others to accept their belief. Why can't we just agree to disagree and continue to eat good food.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marilyn Busskirk

    They have a choice and so do I as to where my money goes...and yes why is it the religious people spreading the hate across this once great country...that was built on freedom?

    July 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. derk

    Seeing as how "Everybody" knew that chick-fil-a was chain owned by people who valued christianity and goes down that path, not saying anyrthing uncouth toward them of course, can we honelsty say that this is an outrsage? oh my! They said they support their beliefs and dont believe in gay marriage and what not, we didnt know this before but now??? Seriously? You didnt know that a company that closes on sundays, because of their beliefs of christianity, would stand against gays. Must people be that deluded? And oh my hundreds and maybe thousands are not gonna eat there anymore? It'll hurt them....not really. Do you support America and the military actions overseas? I guess if you do support them you shouldnt shop a Target anymore. Get a clue people, it dont matter. I support the military action, ill shop at target i dont care. If you want to be gay, fine that dont bother me either. Just dont get enraged over something as stupid as a company not believing in what you do. Thanks! 🙂

    July 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faith

      It may surprise you to know that everyone doesn't know everything about Chik-Fil-A.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Florist

      I don't get it either. It's really none of your business what the owner believes in. And to top it off, all of this righteous indignation is ill placed. Each store is independently owned. If you stop going, you only hurt a local business owner who probably puts in 100-hour weeks to make his store a success. I know that our local owner does. Trying to boycott it to teach innocent people a "lesson" is hate- not minding your own business about others' beliefs.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • dylanesq@msn.com

      The simple answer,Derk, is that it amounts to discrimination and , if you open a business to the public, there should not even seem to be a 'blacklist' if who is accpetable and who is not...how would you like it if major restaurant chain made statements about "We don't like Bikers, Rednecks, Biblethumpers, Morons or Trailertrash' ?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      What about being enraged that the company has decided to file lawsuits against small buisness owners under agressive copyright protection by suing people like the "eat more kale" guy.
      Because apparently Chick-Fil-A has decided that they own the rights to "eat more _____" based on their 'eat mor chikn' campaign. Cause for sure they deserve the copyright over the generic words 'eat more', after all, they have the lawyers. They're a "Christian" company when it comes to bigotry, and a evil tyrant when it comes to flexing its legal powers. In other words, a hypocritical evil and bigoted corporation.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BEasy

    Why does the gay community get so hateful and vengeful when someone expresses their beliefs which happen to oppose theirs? I didn't hear Mr.Cathy make derogatory remarks about gay people. Why does the gay community insist that everybody has to accept their choice of life style? It looks like the gay community is guilty of what they accuse Mr. Cathy of.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faith

      This has always been the conservative forte. They like to turn things around and make up down and down up, here there and there here. This guy is doing his best to keep up that spirit of twist the subject, turn the tables and confuse the masses.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerry Daley

      Can we assume you would not think it hateful if a gay-owned store decided to donate money to deny rights to Baptists. After all, they have a long history of denying rights to African-Americans,, and now gay people?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluegillonthefly

      I haven't heard a word of hate spoken from the owners of Chick-Fil-A. Not one. But from the people who not only disagree with them but who appear, by their words, to believe that the owners of Chick-Fil-A should not be permitted to even have an opinion that differs from theirs? It's nothing but a firehose of hatred. They need to take a good look in the mirror before they accuse anyone else of hate. They might also want to consult a dictionary as to the definition of hate. I'm fairly sure there are none that say "Hate (N). The belief that a certain action, belief, religion, or philosophy is immoral."

      July 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Don't care either way. You seem to forget if some company came out openly supporting them that the shoe would be on the other foot.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa L

      The problem is that the company funds groups that try to make gay people straight. How would Christians like it is a large, wealthy restaurant chain was funding groups that tried to make Christians turn into Muslims because they believed that the Christians were sinners and that their choice to be Christians was not approved by the "true God"?

      To me, his stance to prevent gay folks from getting married is Anti-American and unpatriotic because he ignores the fact that we live in a free country and he does not have the right to impose his religious values or any other values on fellow free citizens ... as the great Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said: "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

      So, mr. chick-fil-a, mind your own business!

      July 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gurgi

    Sooo, what right does everyone else legally have that gays don't have? Not a single one. And don't pull the "marriage" stuff. They have the same right to marry someone of the opposite s3x as everyone else has. So gays have no leg to stand on, they are not denied any right that everyone else legally has.
    That statement cannot be disputed in any way shape or form.
    --–
    So far, no one has been able to prove the above statement wrong. Everything has been tried, mostly using "apples to oranges" comparisons, or putting in words or changing the meaning, or resorting to insults and name calling, thereby being the "hateful bigot" they accuse others of being.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. From a gay man

    first off I'm gay. Dan Cathy has a right to say whatever he wants and I have the right to not eat there. I don't get the big deal on this story.
    I do know that CFA donates it's money to certain groups...just like I do....so what?
    the fact of the matter is I know there are people out there that do not agree with me on everything and I them. We are all human and we all want to be heard. But you must understand to be understood. Let's all celebrate life it's far too short to be shouting negatives at each other. I know I have better things to do with my time.
    I do not eat at CFA not because they are a christian based company but because I do not care for their food. I do not care for mcd's food either these are my choices.

    On a side note though I am gay and I am not going anywhere. I was born gay and will be gay until the day I die. That is the way things are. If you want to live in peace you must create it and stop telling everyone to see things as you do
    THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faith

      So you are saying that Christians need to stop boycotting Disneyland for having Gay Day?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerry Daley

      It's not just a case of holding a opinion. The actively donate in order to keep you a second class citizen. As a gay man living in North Carolina, I know what it feels like to be a third class citizen. And CF supports that with their money. That's why you should be disturbedby their donations.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • SouthernCelt

      Faith:
      There hasn't been just one Christian Church since the 1500's so don't paint us all with that brush. True Christianity teaches Love, Peace, and Tolerance for all. You can accept our beliefs or not, it will not change what we believe.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:33 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