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. EndTheHate

    Can anyone give a specific example of how gay marriage harms America or straight marriage in any way?

    Please only rational, factual and logical responses.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Welcome to the New Republican of America

      Well actually it seems to get them free haircuts....

      Mitt Romney the richie rich out of touch guy!

      July 20, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. A. Daly

    Cathy stated that he supported the traditional family unit, as opposed to gay marriage. I am not quite sure what "anti-LGBT policies" Chick-fil-a has in place, but based on Mr. Perry's quote in the article, it sounds to me like the company is committed to treating both their costumers and employees fairly. Boycotting a company based on the fact that they may support legislation you don't agree with is, in my opinion, somewhat ridiculous. Unless you go in depth to research absolutely every company you purchase a product from, there's no way you can be fair in what you support and what you boycott.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. jenn

    Thank GOD for standing up for what you believe in//

    July 20, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Welcome to the New Republican of America

    I am Mitt Romney and I support this company.

    I have helped give back to the community on many occasions.... I once remember in high school at 18 offering up a held down person against their will a haircut. This was my way of giving back to the community

    God Bless Chicks and Fillet and I hope they too are able to get back to the values of giving all that are different a swick kick in the butt. Remember folks only the wealthy deserve to be treated special and the rest of you soclial services loosers need to understand when I take office your out in the street. Thats right grandma and grandpa America get ready to be sent packing as your moochers and at even if your in the 80's you are on notice!

    Mitt the Man on A missioin to take back and give to the wealthy!

    July 20, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Smith

      Are you completely brain dead? There is absolutely no reason for you to bring Mitt Romney into this conversation as it has nothing to do with who is running for president at the moment. There is also no reason to boycott a company for the beliefs of its president. He has a right to his opinion just as you have a right to yours. There has never once been a claim against this chain for discrimination of anyone. Everyone needs to lighten up a little and except that others have views different from your own.

      July 20, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. tim mccarn

    They stand for what they believe and that as an American is admirable. At the end of the day the truth will stand when the whole worlds on fire. Sadly because of the perversion of our nation we are headed to moral failure and corrupt government structure. (spiritually and morally bankrupt) It's time to wake up America and repent for being rocked to sleep by our lust and greed. God save America.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaime

      You sound like a terrorist.

      July 20, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ty

    CF-Ignorance is bliss! Enjoy the empty wallets because your Christians gave at the alter.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. EndTheHate

    Please don't try to forbid marriage amongst those our Lord God created gay...

    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 20, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    Rats! I wish Chik-Fil-A wasn't so damn good, I would boycott them in a second! Unfortunately, I know it's pointless to even try. It's just too tasty.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • norman

      In Zeus' name, amen

      July 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sally

    If that's the stance CFA wants to take then that's fine, but I will not be giving my money to a company that turns around and uses it to support the anti-gay movement.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Shea

    The only hate and bigotry I'm seeing is coming from the gay supporters.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Abigail

      Exactly Shea! What's wrong with sticking to your biblical beliefs? Cathy never said anything about hate. I'm seeing that when you state you're a Christian and you actually stand up for what the bible says, then somehow it's hate. I like the way the gay supporters twist the words. What they are doing is wrong. Not Christians. No one said to hate gay people. Gimme a break!

      July 20, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. jp

    Oh America, where it's the home of the free, but a business isn't allowed to have its own views. Well, they can have their own views, but only if they cater to the minority groups. I'm going to make a special trip to CFA today to eat enough chicken for at least 2 LBGT people.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Abigail

      LOL! Me too jp! Eat more chicken! Haha!

      July 20, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. matt

    Hey as much as gays are in your face about it, we conservatives have the right to be against it and voice our opinions. I salute you Chick Fil A and I will definitely be eating there more just because of your stance!!

    July 20, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. A. Riley

    Well, I know I won't be eating at Chick-fil-A anymore.

    I mean, good for them standing for their beliefs but it's those beliefs that lead to people like me dieing, be it by being killed or suicide.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeremy

    Im so glad that this is a company of GOD!! and they stand firm in there faith!! This is whats wrong with america now, turning their back on GOD its not hate its the truth and some timeslike the old saying the truth hurts!!!!

    July 20, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kong

    Straight, also married to my wife, not gay and NOT a hater. End the hate, learn to love.

    End the hate, end the hate. This country is so unwell and filled with hate, reckless driving habits, mindless videogame playing, attacking the working class, unions, cops, teachers. Who cares what people do in their private lives as long as they are filled with love?

    July 20, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • EndTheHate

      Ummm Did you read my post? Please reread it and if you still think I said something hateful tell what it is.
      Thank you.

      July 20, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
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