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. Robin

    Everyone who does not agree with me is a bigot and a hater!!!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Duane

    Sadly I will miss your breakfast chicken bagel sandwiches. I no longer will be going to this establishment

    July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. RealDan

      Then go shove a Sonic breakfast burrito down your throat. 🙂

      July 19, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • perennial2

      Agree, Duane.
      Good food, bad company.
      My family will take our business somewhere else.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pete

    It's the company's right to their stance and it's also the consumer's right to pick and choose. We'll see where this leads to as it's an interesting business case.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • KWDragon

      Agreed. And I won't be going there again.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lynne

    Too bad they don't use their money to help others instead of hurting others, like Christians should. . .

    July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Glass!!

      That comment makes no sense who are they hurting by believing what they believe?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. hasan

    i have never eaten at chick f l butb i will start now and to those who support two men marrying each other how were you born???????

    July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. downinfront

    This will probably only result in a healthier diet for the LGBTQ community.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. suesark

    All done with Chick-Fil-A. I have made a stop there at least once a week for four years but this is the straw that broke the camels back. No more. Not another penny of my money goes to Chick-Fil-Hate.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. RealDan

      You won't hurt them. They have gained more business since the announcement.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Why would you stop eating at Chick-fila? just because they have the right to voice thier opinion? are you gay? The bible openly takes a stand on this , seems like everyone wants to overlook this fact or twist the scriptures and inturpret them they way that promotes thier gay and lesbian lifestyle... anything but the union of a man and a woman is wrong...

      July 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. AW

    Why do people not understand that it is OK for others to have differing opinions. He doesnt say he "hates" gays, he just doesnt believe in the practice and doesnt want to support gay marriage. Seriously people, everyone gets their opinion and if they do practice "hate", which they dont, there is nothing wrong with it. We have to understand that religious beliefs have been the premise for many good and bad things in the world. That said, this is neither one that is good or bad..it is just an opinion and if you choose not to support him for that, you should at least support him for standing up for his opinion. America needs more to do so in many areas.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Mar

      because they are spoiled brats, who are the one full of hate, they can't stand that people are not controlled and forced to believe the way they do..if you don't like apples and I love them your an apple bigot!

      July 19, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. morris diehl

    I have never been to chick fil because I basically think anyone who forces his religious views on others doesn't really care about anyone else. That being said this company has a perfect right to be against gay marriage. If you don't like their views on this subject don't buy from them, maybe after awhile this bigots closed mind will open up. Is this a great country or what? Now I not only can't buy pizza from the guy who owns the RedWings and Tigers exposing his Catholic views, except he doesn't say anything about pedophile priests and now this clown at the chicken joint.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Garry

    Personally I could care less about what they think, I have never in my 56 years here on earth set foot in one off their restaurants.....and it is not because of their stance on gay marriage. I just have heard to many bad things about them or their food....
    So, not for me to judge..let their god judge them....

    July 19, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      why would God judge someone who believes the way God believes? why would God judge someone who is RIGHT?

      July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Phil509

    There are none of us without sin and none of us Christians without temptation and failure. The true Christian will continue to try to live a Christ like life. However we will always fail to live up to the sinless life and are in a state of continues repentance. My choice is to never let go of that and continue to hold onto the hope and faith that I can move forward in the love of God and grateful for his provision for us to be forgiven.

    Romans 6:23 ESV / 17 helpful votes
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    2 Peter 3:9 ESV / 14 helpful votes
    The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

    1 John 1:9 ESV / 13 helpful votes
    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV / 11 helpful votes
    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • alphabatt1

      Rejoice, there is no such thing as sin in the secular world. One decides to do right or wrong and then is judged by
      secular law.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rucerious

    Gays are saying Chick-Fil-a is a hater and bashing Gays. I don't see any bashing at all except by the Gays. Saying if you don't believe like us we will never eat there again and get all gays to boycott....really....sounds like mob bullies.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      They learned it by watching you.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Wargod

    Chick-fil-a is a monstrous enemy of all mankind.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ok2hate

    How is this hate or bigotry in any way? So a company, and a person (me) disagrees with your lifestyle and isn't afraid to say so. I don't hate you, nor does this restaurant. Nor is it bigotry, as we don't think we're better in any way. Our standard of right and wrong is distinctly different, because we follow the complete, not cherry picked doctrine from a book called the Bible. It will always win, it's called a Biblical world view. It's bigger than we are, and hate speech calling us bigots for following God because we don't agree with you is... bigoted... Are you better, or are we? Kindly lose the vitriolic rhetoric and imagine the word is bigger than you. I do.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott B

      @OK2hate It's the jump to passing laws and amendments that force your beliefs on people that disagree. If you just said what you believed and didn't act upon it, then it would not be hate.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bob

    I commend Chic-fil-a for speaking their Christian values. If America could just practice some of the values the bible mentions we would all be better off! I always have and always will support Chic-fil-a, even more so now!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
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