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. Tanessa

    I do not support gay marriage but i also am not against it. I have many gay friends and even a transgendered one. I believe people have the free will too make what ever choices make them happy. However i do believe it should be a man and women. But i dont discriminate. If a women makes your heart smile and your a women then im glad you found your soul mate. Just as i wouldnt care if people were mad im married to a man i dont care if your married to a women.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      @ tanessa. You say your against gay marriage but then you say you don't care if a woman loves a woman. Im not sure if you just worded it wrong but why do you care if I am allowed to marry? Does it change how you lead your life? Does it change how much you love your husband? Does it change the meaning of your marriage? If you don't care then why oppose it?

      July 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jack McGregor

    Chick-fil-A is not very convenient to where I live, but I'll be there more often now!

    July 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      @ jack. Your awesome. You will create more pollution. Use more gas...whole other subject. To support a company that that supports religion based laws. So are you against woman's right? Are you for racism? Are you tring to bring back slavery? These were all religion based laws that got overturned. Your must be one gun toting proud American! I'm sure your child will grow up to be proud of you. " I'm proud of my daddy. He didn't support equal rights.". Again I repeat, your awesome!

      July 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JB

    A lot of haters said they were boycotting oreos saying, "I don't hate gay people, I just think that companies should stay neutral on the issue." Well, Chick-fil-A is not staying neutral, so by the same logic you should boycott them as well.

    "Companies should be companies and not make political statements", but only when those statements are not in agreement with your viewpoints apparently. When the company does agree with you then, then it's "HAT MOR PEOPLE" all the way.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kathy

    I do not understand all this hate and bigot "crap"!! Christians are respecting Biblical truths and are so quickly and wrongfully labeled because we offer our opinion on the subject. We do not wear t-shirts that say hetero and proud nor flaunt our intimacy with our mates in public-we are not in your face about this-just sharing what our Lord admonished. Hate the sin -love the sinner. We are all guilty of sin-daily, but try not to hang it out for all to see. We need to ask for forgiveness and try to not do what He hates. Go to The Book.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      @ Kathy, you just wrote an entire smoke cloud. Biblical truths? This book has you brained washed. We don't care if you follow a book. You have the right to your own opinions and beliefs. But why should your opinions and beliefs be law? Why should your opinions and beliefs be superior to mine? How are my rights not valid because it doesn't follow your religion? I'm not out spreading hate. I'm trying to figure out how your religion and your opinion make you better than me. I wanna know how you have the right to limit my rights based on a book. This book should have know effect on my rights. But it does because of people like you and companies like Chic-fil-A.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Should have "no"... Not "know"

      July 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Larry

    I find it more than a little ironic that someone named Dan Cathy is opposed to gays.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sheila

    I am proud of the Chic filet stance. It has always been a favorite of mine, but even more so now. It's time Christians and other faiths stick together for the beliefs. I heard on Fox tv that there should be a chic filet day Aug 1st. I think that is a wonderful way to show our support. HOW ABOUT IT? LETS ALL SHOW UP ON AUGUST 1ST and show the support for this fine company. and oh yeah, Mr. Cathy, don't back down from these sickos

    July 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Lol. Your pretty. Your a Christian that watches FOX news. So many places to go but I will just say that you have been extra brain washed.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sharon

    Im with chick-fil-A on this, I love them for standing up and I love their food.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jusme

    We grab the entire crew and hit chick_fil_A's now... Bring the entire Platoon down for lunch... Gays want to boycott... Go ahead, more for us....

    July 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barbara Dabdoub

      Yea for you and your friends and way to go to Chik-fil. I'll be supporting them and encouraging others also.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. DudleyF

    Why is this man being called a "hate-monger" simply because he doesn't beliieve in gay marriage. He never said he hated gays. Why wasn't President Obama called a "hate-monger" when he campaigned for President in favor of the Defense Of Marriage Act? He only changed his mind once he was safely elected. Why isn't he a hater?

    July 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Larry David

    Remember when Larry David (a "big Jew") went to the Palestinian chicken place?

    July 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. IndyVoter

    It's a privately owned business. They may run it as they wish.

    And people can decide to eat there based on that.

    So the question is, five years from now, who will remember this? The boycotters, or the "faithful". My guess is that the faithful will forget, but not the boycotters.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Big shooter

    When I go to a fast food place the first thing I want to know ......what's their stance on gay marriage! HAHAHAHA!!
    Who gives a rip either way??! I just want some fried chicken or whatever and it should be decently priced and taste okay.
    End of story. It's not like Chik-fil-a spits on gay people's chicken like Jesse Jackson did regarding white customers.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dontcare

    There's nothing wrong with their stance. Soon they change their stance because of people opinions, soon they will be subject to the people and not to God. The way companies are getting exposed today with their dishonest habits I can't say many companies have a stance these days. A business built on good foundation can withstand fire.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. bob

    who cares this is just an example of the gay mafia bullying people, i doubt many gay people eat at chickafila

    July 24, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cuz

    Gays claim its Christians forcing their beliefs down everyone's throat....but really who is jamming what down everyone's throat? Why do I have to go to a fast food restaurant gays approve of? Why would I care if the owners don't approve of gay marriage? Besides last I heard, there was no gay gene. I have to agree with the offended african americans who went through the civil rights movement. I can't walk into a restaurant or anywhere else and know with a glance who is gay and who is not. But I can if they are Asian, Native American, or African American. I can only know if someone is gay if they tell me. That would be the same for an adulterer or a kleptomaniac. Will I have to approve of the Adulterer next because they were "born with those desires?" This is really an asinine civil rights movement. There is little civil about it. If one is "born with it" why are not all identical twin brothers gay when one is gay? I hate to cloud the issue with facts....this is a behavioral, environmental issue. There is no more genetic than adultery. I am waiting for the adulterous identical twin brother studies to come out......

    July 24, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
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