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. capnmike

    Have never eaten at Chik-Fil-A, and never will...I can't support bible-whackers and their ilk, people who believe that horrible pack of lies and try to spread it all around and run everybody's life by it. Same goes for Dominos Pizza. If they want to spread their ridiculous "values", they can do it without MY money.

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

      good...idiots like you have a voice too

      July 19, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • ATL Safetyman

      Love Chic-Fil-A and Bible thumpers. Don't like their comments? Don't eat there, I'm betting it won't hurt them anywhere near what you think it might. LGBT has a right to their opinion, so does this private company. Have a great day!

      July 19, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      It would appear that they are both doing quite well without YOUR money.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • lovestheusa

      Always amazes me that if Christians or anyone else as that matter have a difference of opinion than the liberals – then we are the HATERS. That shows their ignorance. WE love the USA, stand by what our forefathers put in place – a loving, caring nation that stands by what the BIBLE says. "Woe to those that call evil good or good evil". For THEY will be judged by a just God. God is absolutely a loving God otherwise He certainly would not have given His only begotten Son to die for a world that has now turned into a free for all – do whatever makes you feel good. There are consequences to every action. I say Good for you Mr. Cathy....I will personally be praying that he will be bless beyond his imagination. That his company will sore with the eagles. God promises to bless those that stand firm in what He teaches. God Bless Mr. Cathy. Not many people are confident enough to do what he has done. Only the liberals shout out hate -Be NOT deceived – GOd is not mocked – whatever a man sows THAT shall he also reap. Believe you me – there is going to be some reaping – go back and look at history – WHEN did this nation become so corrupt and evil – kids killing parents, parents killing kids – school shootings...When Madelyn took prayer out of schools – it has been down hill since. I for one will be glad when God shows His mighty power – I am ready.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      It takes a lot more faith to believe the entire ecosystem evolved from single celled creatures living in the ocean than it does to believe that the world was created. And that "pack of lies" as you call it (the Bible) is corroborated by secular historical records. For instance, geographic features, city populations, commerce patterns, weather patterns, historical leaders, and even how common certain names are in the Bible all cortroborates with historical and archeological evidence found thousands of years later- and not one shred of evidence refutes it. Think about it.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    I think the news story should be that people are shocked that they DON'T support gay marriage.

    They are a Christian organization that wants to cater to Christians. Which is fine. I support their right to do so. But it also means they will never get a dime from me since I'm not Christian.

    Anybody complaining about the chain Christian bookstores?

    July 19, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • v2787

      You make an excellent point. No one's protesting the right of Christian bookstores to sell what they want and to whom they want. Everyone knows the score on that one. And the LGBT community is totally ok with that, as they should be. Chick-fil-A, on the other hand, is advocating a stance that is creating trouble for them–and that's good. I'm sure Chick-fil-A was hoping that this would sort of fly under the radar and that it wouldn't become a big issue, but it has. When you espouse bigotry to the general public, it catches up with you after awhile. I've never eaten at Chick-fil-A and never will. I'm sure they don't miss my money, since they've never had any of it in the first place. But I'm also sure that many people are going to become former customers of Chick-fil-A because of the bigotry that company promotes. They're free to say and think what they want, and we're free to not patronize their business. Isn't free enterprise a beautiful thing?

      July 19, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. nic

    I wonder what would happen gays and lesbians had their own gay country by themselves with all gay people. Well besides there being no chic fil a's. haha

    July 19, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • TiredOfPaying

      Well, what would happen is that 40ish years later there would be an entire country completely empty of people, but filled with designer bedsheets and matching curtains.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      They would adopt kids and in a generation or two you would have a perfectly normal society.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike Gordon

    There position has always been obvious and delicious. Nothing like hiding a little pickle inside them sandwiches..

    July 19, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. frank

    this is NOT hate or bigotry, or intolerance or discrimination... this is NORMALCY and Common sense....GOOD for Chic Fil A! all these idiots that write ignorant comments go to KFC if you don't like them

    July 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Liza Johnson

    Never have eatin their so called food, never will. Their stance is bigoted and their food unhealthy. GOD only know why that would appeal to some people :~[

    July 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. BobbyBrick

    Absolutely reprehensible that someone actually states out loud and stands by their beliefs....Shame on you Chik a Fil...burn in H3ll......Thank God that group of hatemongers known as GLAD will crucify the company every chance they get for now bowing to their will.

    .....and GO!

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

    Christain/Not Christain. Straight/Gay. Love Dogs/Hate Dogs. Whatever. We live in a capitalistic society where you get to express your opinion with your pocketbook. No reason to get upset about it. If you don't agree with their policies, simply don't give them any of your money. Companies and the people that run them are allowed to be different. It's what makes this country great.

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

    Thank you for some of you boycotting, the Chick-fil-a's by me are always way too busy. Be easier to get my glorious food. (I just people reading into things, they are shy about sharing their personal beliefs, but have never been proven to discriminate, but other companies who say nothing, what all do they support).

    July 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Anna B

    We need you to come to Lincoln NE! Fill our bellies and be a strong testimony to our city.
    You have the biggest fan in Lincoln and he would support your business daily!

    July 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  11. Gurgi

    Last time I checked we live in a supposedly free country. We should be free to like or not like what we want. I hate this new trend that we must like and embrace everything or be branded a hater. I don't like being told who and what I have to like. I can make up my own mind. I choose to hate gays, they can choose to hate me back. It is my choice to make, and theirs. If it makes one of us a "bigot" then the other is a "bigot" as well. The hypocrisy and political correctness need to just go away before they finish the destruction of our way of life.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Gurgi

      @nutz, from their comments, yes they do. Such a narrow view of the world comes from the gays. Their way or no way.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Darrell

    Thanks Chick-Fil- A for putting morals and convection above money and media. I support You.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kristin

    I did NOT read a single thing that mentioned HATE in Mr. Cathy's comment. I support every person's own choice in happiness. I also support Mr. Cathy's choice in what he believes in and built his company values on. STAY TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE and do not worry about what anyone else thinks. I will continue to eat at Chik-fil-A.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. Hotness

    This is why I love Chick-fil-A!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Major

    The real bigots are the ones bashing them for just being good Christians.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
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