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. Vince

    I've never understood, simply because you disagree with ones lifestyle why its considered hate??? Do explain?

    July 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Deb

    Dan, do you bother to know what Christian principles even are? Jesus told people to "go sin no more" several times to people he came across. He not only came to heal, raise the dead but he came primarily to die so he could ransom his perfert human life to redeem mankind but they can only benefit from that ransom sacrifice if they get their lives in line with God's will and principles. Apparently, you don't know that God and his Son Jesus loved people but hate the sins and behaviors. Jesus never hated anyone but he wasn't afraid nor did he shy away from telling people when they were sinners that they needed to repent. People tend to forget that. If this store is living by Bible principles and they close on Sunday and they don't want to give in to worldly believes that is their right. They don't discriminate they are just voicing their opinion as a corporation which is run as a family corporation. They have the right to believe what they want, as do gay people. Just tired of gay organizations calling people who don't believe in their lifestyle as being means spirited, biased and prejudiced.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vince

    How many people who support gay marriage support polygamy .... I bet ZERO. At least be consistent.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. suzi

    Im sorry so many of you are sad in your lives so you have to put others who are different down.
    God Bless and hope that you find peace <3<3

    July 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Deb

    Just because polls say huge percentages of people in this country and abroad think gay marriage is ok with them doesn't mean it's right .If we allow things to be right just because so many people want it or like it then this is going to create horrible situations. God doesn't say something is wrong or a sin because he wants to get on peoples good sides.
    Being the creator he has the right to tell us what is right and what is wong. When we leave things like that to imperfect falliable humans we end up in a horrible mess in so many ways.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • David R

      Yes – so glad that you know exactly the way God wants us to behave, so we don't have to rely on the fallible interpretations of humans. Just like the Pharisees in Christ's days, you really have "the truth" nailed, right? (Of course, that's why they agreed to murder Jesus - he didn't fit their 100% biblically-based truth.)

      July 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rosco

    You can make millions peddeling jesus in this country and some in corporate america take full advantage of all these feeble minded souls who fork out millions to buy him.

    July 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The DJ

    This is not hate...Jesus said hate sin not the sinner....We Christians don't hate anyone..we don't accept certain ways/lifestyles..thats all...nowhere is hate in the picture....Amen!

    July 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aristocles

    If you don't like it, don't eat there. Simple as that. It's growing very fast, so most people don't seem to care.

    July 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dale

    I never go to Chic Fil A, but i will be eating there as often as possible now. Why? Because I'm sick to death of the people who proclaim they are being hated, and what do they do? They spew hate.

    July 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scott Alan Drummond

    When a tornado ripped our neighborhood apart a few years back, Chick-fil-a sent a truck and handed out free food. To everyone in need. Have your hate filled boycott. Im personally not too worried about gays not hanging out in places where I like to eat.

    July 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale

      very well said, Scott.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rose

    In the statement I read, I saw nothing about hating gays. Just his opinion which he has a right to. I am also not sure they discriminate. Do they refuse to hire or serve gays? That would be discrimination. I have several gay friends &family members, and I believe everyone should be treated equally, just not sure this guy necessarily hates gay people.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      It's typical liberal tactics to turn a valid belief or stance into a game of hate either racially or any means they need to to influence. This only works on the sheep not the true believers who make decisions on logic and faith.

      July 21, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. SPENT

    Wow! This is wonderful that a company stands up for values that are not main stream....Wonderful You have a new customer, for sure. Hate, I don't think it is hate, just standing up on different values. Maybe those that disagree with this company and suspend their purchases are filled with hate...

    July 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Yep

    Ho Mo is banned!

    July 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Yep

    You can't type the word Ho Mo without splitting it a part! Try it!

    The Hos and Ho Mos at cnn take care of their own!!

    Ho Mos!

    July 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Yep

    Ho Mo – Oh NO!

    July 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
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