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. David

    I just don't see the reasn why we should have an issue with his posiotion. It is no secret that Mr Cathy is a Christian, and he is holding fast to his Christian principles. I respect him for that .
    May God continue to Bles you Sir and your Company.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lane Cox

    Why are you angry? If you choose not to patraonize Chik-fil-A because of the personal views of the ownership; so be it. That is your choice. But likewise, he has a right to express his views and spend his money in support of whatever group he wishes. Most of the hate that I see is coming from the non-traditional side of the argument.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. polaris78

    Although I am gay and blantantly discriminated against by the U.S. govt I strongly beleive in "Live and let live". Who I love is no ones business. What I choose the share is my business. I have a right to be just as happy as anyone else. I pay my taxes therefore I want the same benefit as I pay for it! Chic filtet has a right to express themselves. I applaud them for being shut on Sundays. Their employees can spend time with their families and thats whats lacking in this country! They enforce their beliefs and all that work for them can practice their beliefs in peace. I will NEVER buy from them as they are against me. All of my friends and family that are against his beleifs about Gays wont either BUT I totally support their right to speak out and shut on Sunday. ALL companies should do this. I've had enough from companies who see their profits as paramount to families. This is why families are failing in this country. we spend all our time at work and NOT with our children.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. davidintel

    Do it our way or we'll whine till someone changes things. I'm sick of hearing how gay complainers have to be placated every time they start whining. Christians have rights too! Eat your food somewhere else, problem solved.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Enrique

    It was a pretty good place to eat, but I gladly quit it.
    Gay Marriage is nothing but EVOLUTION!
    Gays were always condemned and they are among the finest people and most efficient workers I have met in my life!
    They exist and deserve equal treatment!

    July 24, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ray O

    I have the choice to decide not to go to their eating establishment as much as they have the right to their beliefs. I choose to NEVER go there again as long as their idealogy is what it is.....

    July 24, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. dionisio sanchez

    I've been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i am satisfied to show that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I so much undoubtedly will make sure to do not put out of your mind this web site and give it a look on a constant basis.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Giant Bushy Mustache

    This is a terrible place to eat. I would never eat there again. Im a gam man and I;; take my gay dollars eslewhere.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • goodasyours

      thank you - and as always you are welcome to do so - so - what are you complaining about

      July 24, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Bryant

      Wow, I thought we lived in the USA and have a right to what we believe? Stand by your believes! Not to many companies will because of this type of ignorance individuals that believe you should follow what they believe or you shouldn’t be in business.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Giant Bushy Mustache

    Christians are hate filled and Godless. they all need to burn int he hell they created for thenmselves.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Just wanted to let you know Giant....not ALL Christians are like this. I am a very devote Christian and I believe in equal rights and gay marriage. We should all be able to be happy in life! Rock on and hope you find your happiness 🙂

      July 24, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. Giant Bushy Mustache

    Everthing in this country boils down to class and race, Never ever forget it.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Becca Burton

    I believe that the owner of chick-fil-a has the right to believe what he wished, but he does not have the right to discriminate, I am a Christian, but I do not support discrimination of any kind. I am not sure though that boycottinf chick-fil-a is the right way to express your anger. Think about all those people that work there who have nothing to do with this heated debate that just want to feed their families. Boycotting the restaraunt will really hurt those who are trying to make ends meet. I also bet that a lot of them are LGBT. I bet a lot of them work there because they need the income. So please do not hurt them over those bigoted commetns. However I do believe a fuss needs to be made and the owners need to know that the discrimination they are showing is wrong, but I think we can use our voices for that. Let us not hurt the people who had nothing to do with it.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • talbet

      Hurt who it may, the boycott is on. Would black people support a business who donates to the KKK? I would hope not. It's the same exact thing.

      July 24, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jag

    I think it's pathetic how so many people are spreading the word 'hate' around here to describe Chick-Fil-A. Not once does their statement bring any hate towards the gay community, it only states that they don't politically support the movement. Simply not supporting one side of politics doesn't mean they are hateful people, it just means they don't agree. In their restaurants they treat every costomer with respect and kindness, there is no hate.

    The real hate mongers are those putting words in Chick-FIl-A's mouth and slandering them for having their own view.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • New Customer

      This is the most well-stated comment on here. You are exactly right! All of the hate-mongering is coming from the other side of the fence. If I eat Chick-Fil-A food, that doesn't mean I support their beliefs (though I do), it just means I like their food!

      July 24, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • marsha

      Exactly Jag. I did not hear anything about hate. Prejudice people use the word hate. I hate gays or blacks, whites, Hispanics, etc. That's pure hate. All the man said was that marriage is between a man and woman. I don't care how gays get marry; some people are not going to agree with it. Sorry that just the way it is.

      July 24, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Enough Already

      AMEN Jag!!! Someone in a comment had, I think, the best comment ever. They stated that all 'marriages' should be civil unions and if you would like to do it between you and God – then it would be called Marriage. I think that is the best idea ever!!! I don't understand the gay marriage movement. However, I believe that if 2 people love each other and are committed they should have all the same rights as others – 2 men, 2 women or 1 man and 1 woman. What part of civil union is different than marriage? Once I have a better understanding of that, then I might change my mind. But as far as I am concerned gay marriage, or civil union, grants the same rights, so what is the issue?

      July 24, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • biloxiboi

      Sorry, Jag, but if endorsing a hate group by fueling money into their coffers doesn't insinuate you agree with their hate, then I don't know what is. If you donated to the KKK, one would assume you agree with their principles of hate.

      July 24, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. New Customer

    I've never eaten Chick-Fil-A before, but will make sure I support them now, with my wife! People who believe in the traditional laws of marriage (man and woman) are not rallying and marching, trying to force our beliefs down everyone's throat. So stop trying to force your beliefs on us!!

    July 24, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • biloxiboi

      The same could be said about the Christian right. We were in New Orleans this weekend having a good time on Bourbon Street minding our own business when we happened upon 3 or 4 people standing in the middle of Bourbon with a big (6 foot) wooden cross and someone else on a loud speaker proclaiming we were all going to hell for having a good time. "People who believe in the traditional laws of marriage (man and woman) are not rallying and marching, trying to force our beliefs down everyone's throat." You can't have your cake and eat it, too, darling!

      July 24, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. cathryn

    60 years ago, Dan Cathy's opinion was the norm. How far this nation has strayed from Truth!! I have no doubt that Chick-fil-A wil continue to be a successful buisiness. It is too bad that more businiess owners don't take a stand for what is True and right.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Manuel J.

      I couldn't agree more!!

      July 24, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dr D Probst

    Apparently Dan Cathy has not done his homework concerning Biblical marriage. King David, the man the Bible says was after God's own heart, had 7 wives, one of which he obtained by purposefully sending her husband to the front lines during a war so he would be killed. King Solomon, according to the Bible, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 mistresses. In Luke 16:18 Jesus says: "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery." No outs, no exception. Though Moses and Paul gave "exceptions" concerning divorce, Jesus did not. If Mr. Cathy wants to be dogmatic about Christian marriage, then he needs to fire every divorced person in his employ, otherwise he is being a hypocrite, and of course, the Bible says hypocrites are going to hell.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Enough Already

      I'm sorry.. WHERE in this story does it say that he doesn't employ gay people??? He doesn't believe in GAY MARRIAGE.. I didn't read one word about him discriminating against gays, blacks, hispanics etc. If he did then that would be a COMPLETELY different story. Quit trying to put someone down for their beliefs, just because it is different than yours.

      July 24, 2012 at 10:32 am | 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