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. Postman

    I'm going to buy an extra #1 combo, (it's a classic) or an extra grilled chicken sandwich, (it's good for ya) every time I go, just to make up for all those who will stop buying. I encourage everyone who supports this stance for what they beileve in, to do the same. Now don't eat this sandwich but give it to the poor man who says they'll work for food, it's better than giving him money. And what's the worst that could happen, Chick-fil-A loses business or at the very worst shuts down, remmeber this my valued chicken sandwich provider, Jesus hung on a cross for what He stood for, He hates the sin but LOVES the people. I feel that's what you do. Good thing you didn't invent the chicken.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Heather

    It is a privately owned business. If they do not want customers that are in gay relationships or the people who support their right to love whom ever they choose, I think we should help a brother out. The chicken is soaked in sugar water and covered in salty batter, it is by no means good. Try eating it without dipping it into a sauce designed to mask it's flavor. Or worse yet, eat it cold. Your brain will quickly tell you that not enough of it is technically food and it is not something you should eat.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    Principles before joining the *ban wagon* of what's popular is NOT hating on or believing that one said group is trying to rule, that's just mudd-slinging to hind the truth of Gods word.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tracey

    Ok, I am really having trouble understanding where "hate" and "bigot" enter into the equation? The man stated his belief concerning gay marriage. I don't read about him saying that he hates gays. I do know that since the world makes such a big deal out of "being gay is ok", they force those who do not believe it is natural to say so. Since when does one get labeled a hater and bigot for his beliefs? Seems to me that the left has become a bag of whiny babies who point their fingers when anyone doesn't agree with them. They are pretty good at Christian bashing, if you just read some of these comments. I really believe you will one day understand the difference between being a bigot, and standing for what you believe, and doing so in love. Stand strong Chick Fil A. By the way, how is that JC Penny stock and business doing since they have been cramming "gay is ok" down the American consumers throat?

    July 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. norm

    Standing your ground is not hate .. Went to chickfila today ..will make them a regular now..

    July 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MalcolmXcrement

    WOW!! And after all this time, I thought this was America. You know, free speech and the like.

    I guess that only applies to pro-gay, anti-Christian speech.

    To the angry gay folks out there who despise Christianity so much, please remember that Jews and Muslims condemn your actions as well. Muslims even put you to death. But I guess speaking out against Islam would reveal you to be bigots, right??

    July 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      You eat wherever because you like it, simple. If you don't share the same faith with this restaurant .... so what? We criticize other countries because of religious wars .... get over it .... so what? Enjoy your meal, that's it.

      July 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Boycott ChickFilA

    Bye Bye Chick-Fil-A! Will not eat your chickens ever again....for eternity.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • chantayc

      I dont think we really care who decides to not eat at this restaurant. I dont eat there but I stand by their values and ideas on traditional living as it pertains to scripture.

      July 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vince

      EXCELLENT!! More For me!

      July 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Susan Brown

    I think that the point is not that Chick-fil-A doesn't support gay marriage or is a Christian company. The point is that their profits are used to support organizations that work to deny gay's their civil rights. You can agree or not but it is my option to choose to not support Chick-fil-A and to make sure that other's are aware of the situation. It is a free country and I can choose to see that Chick-fil-A never receive another penny of my money to use to help deny me the right to marry my partner.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • nixliberals

      That is also why I don't buy FORDs or donate to the United Way. Us, Christians, need to vote with our money and these organizations support KILLING BABIES, worldwide and should be run into the ground, blotted out of existence. You, pro LBGT people need to recognize GOD for who HE is, a just GOD. Otherwise, pay the penalty!!! Chick-fil-A is the epitomy of a socially conscious organization and I approve.

      July 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. VinceRN

    So what? IT's a private company run by a family. They can have whatever opinions they want. So can you. Don't like them, don;t eat there. I don't. You folks that want to have the state force people to have the same opinions as you, or to have the state prevent people from voicing opinions you disagree with scare the cripe out of me. You are exactly how the Stalins, Maos and Hitlers of the world rise to power.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. T Hawn

    I admire any Company in this economy that isn't ashamed to stand up for it's beliefs, and I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. Thank you Chick-fil-A

    July 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Angie N.

    There food sucks anyways.Makes it SO much easier not to miss out on eatting a hateful piece of deep fried Klan-lovin' crap. To all you "Christians",enjoy that chicken while you get heart disease and more obese.And enjoy every finger lickin' bite of it 🙂 And they stay statistically the majority of America is Christian.The majority are also bi-polar,over weight,depressed and racist as well.Wonder how the two fit together.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • nixliberals

      And what are you, narcissistic, lesbian, hating, judging, and full of Bigotry and avarice, malice, and intolerant? I tolerate LBGT people, haters, judgmental, malicious, intolerant and rapacious bullies, but MY GOD will be just and bring his wrath on those that ignore or subvert HIS ways, C U on judgement day, GOOD LUCK!! I will be going on to the WEDDING of the LAMB, and hope there is CHICK FIL-A on the menu at the FEAST!!!! I will pray for all of you, because if you can read this, you are still alive and there is hope yet for YOU!!!

      July 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • giblets

      Angie, who said they love the Klan? You. But you are clearly an idiot by the rest of your commentary.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. roger

    I won't be eating there anymore. And for God's sake people how many times does someone have to tell you that being gay is not a "lifestyle", it is not a choice.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chantayc

    I just think that it is necessary to parade their rights and beliefs over everyone else's, NOT!!! Muslims can spout out their call to prayers in this country, pray five times a day at the office, and they should, but when a company says they stand by God's design for human beings, it is suddenly a crime to express it publicly. Pleeeeeeze.!!!!!!

    July 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andreea

    We have to believe in something this is our heritage ours traditions for majority doesnt matter Christians, pr Islamics..Maybe millions or billions, generations after generations they were a punch of idiots believing in families, children, men, women.But finally we are not so idiots to believe in two hens what make the egg without a ruster.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • nixliberals

      Please tell me ENGLISH is not your native tongue, because you have a terrible grasp of it, syntax, grammer, spelling. UUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BEK

    History will be on the side of the progressives on this issue. People will looking back on such bigotry in 20 years and shake their heads in amazement that anyone could be so backward. Religious whack-jobs have used their so-called beliefs and their selective interpretation of the bible to justify all kinds of hateful behavior in the past and they will continue to do so. It matters little – time and progress march on.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • nixliberals

      History is written by the winning side, which will be Jesus Christs'. Your version of history will be believed by the deceived, but not for long. The end is near, start praying!!!

      July 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
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