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. Brian

    LOL I find this hilarious. The same ones who stand behind Chick Fil A are the same ones who whine and protest about Starbucks, General Mills for supporting Marriage Equality and a whole lot more companies. Here's the thing people. If you want to support these businesses by all means support them. If you don't guess what ya can do. DON'T. It really can't be anymore simpler then that.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobington

      I don't care what your stance is, if you make good food that I like i am going to eat it. I have better things to do with my time and money than cry about anyone who has an opinion that differs from my own.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Open Minded

      Brian
      That's WAY too logically and normal! How do you realistically expect venom spewing bloggers to adjust! : )
      Love your post!

      July 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HaveSomeTea

    His name is Cathy? The irony!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Mosey

      That's not ironic at all.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      ....that's nowhere near the definition of irony, also his name is Dan Cathy...

      July 19, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • PevanB

      lay off the lead paint there mr junior high school

      July 19, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Riche

    Stand up America! I am glad that we are finally sick of stuff being crammed down our throats; like h o m o s

    July 19, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      nobody's cramming anything down your throat you're welcome to hit the little red x at the top right of your screen at anytime.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan Garcia

      Now THAT is Irony. A guy complaining of things being constantly shoved down his throat then disparaging Gay people?!?! Hi pot, this is the kettle and you’re are black!!

      July 19, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • PevanB

      @ Steve – UH Steve it is a white X with red background. Just saying there sonny boy

      July 19, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Terren

      I got something to cram down your throat... And you'll probably like it!

      July 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. person

    But wait, the "Biblical definition of the family unit" is one husband and many wives. Just another idiot who thinks he has a special line to religious truth–and his interpretation of the rules is the only one allowed.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • BobD

      There it is ... the "idiot" word. Those that live by a set of principles are now "idiots". But those that want to change the meaning of another word like marriage are "thoughtful". Usurpation of the word "guy" being the first.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Neil

      Ah, wouldn't it be nice to have God speak to us today? To give us special guidance and direction in todays world of consusion and thousands of churches who teach the doctrine of men, mingled with scripture... Well, I do believe God does speak to man today, through a living prophet. Ask your friends, you'll be suprised at who does know God continues to speak to men, and you can know too.

      I don't believe just because you support traditional marraige means you "hate" or are even "intollerant" of equal rights and a gay lifestyle. I am a supporter of traditional marraige, but I also believe in personal choice. Here's the caviot, I also believe in personal accountability, and a compassionate, loving Savior. I believe that He will judge us all on our choices, based on our knowledge and understanding of Eternal Truths. I know our Savior loves each of us, and wants us to be happy, even eternally happy.

      July 19, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • :-)

      @person – Where does it say that??

      July 19, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • ABarker

      Sounds like you could use to read the bible a little more often. The definition is 1 man, 1 woman. Yes, there were men who married multple women but if you actually read the bible you'll find that wasn't God's plan.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bbbb

      Neil, ditto all the way. And I have a feeling I share my faith with you 🙂 Thanks for the awesome post, it was perfect.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    A refusal support does not equal hate. Our reactionary society has to calm down just a little bit. I am 100% for gay rights, but I respect anybody who isn't. Not everyone who disagrees with your personal beliefs is a "hate monger". They didn't say gays should be locked up, segregated, beaten or anything like that. He just said they disagree with their lifestyle choice. There are plenty of lifestyle choices that I don't agree with (Jersey Shore culture, I'm talking to you), but it doesn't mean I wish bad things on those people.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • tfbuckfutter

      Jersey Shore IS a lifestyle choice. Being gay is NOT.

      A better comparison would be disliking ITALIANS. Which would be....umm....hateful and bigoted?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Chris, Chick-fil-A does wish bad things on gay people. It wishes to stop them from being able to marry the person they love.

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

    Wonder if those sanctimonius hypocrites have any idea how many adulterers eat in their restaurant every day? Doesn't the Bible have something to say about that, too?

    July 19, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Since they don't hate, it doesn't matter. Your are the one associating hate with their beliefs. All are sinners and they are feeding all. So what is you point? Do you have a real point or are you just trying to spew hate?

      July 19, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • :-)

      @charlie – when did they deny the existence of sin in their restaurants? It is IMPOSSIBLE to truly believe in Christ and deny the presence of evil ANYWHERE in this world. In fact, they know every person walking (into their establishments included) is a sinner, hence why they stated their beliefs and expressed how they didnt want to judge in the debate that (they said) should be left up to other parties.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. ZombieHunter2012

    Good for you and the Boy Scouts for standing behind your beliefs and values! Being against gay marriage does not equal "hatred" towards them! Nugget, biscuit, nugget in a biscuit..mmmmm! Can't wait for lunch time so I can chow down!!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. ameasureoffaith

    I support chick-fil-a and their bold stance for God and marriage. You have my lunch money and my prayers!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. fredo

    Bravo Mr. Cathy. It's refreshing to see a national company take a stance for tradional families for a change instead of catering to the minority opinon for the sake of political correctness. For every person that chooses to no longer support Chic-fil-A may there be five new customers to take their place. His comments have certainly helped gain my loyalty.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dallas

    Booooooooooooooooo!!!! KFC all the way!!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cherry Picker

    So I take it that Chick-fil-A will adhere to ALL the biblical guidelines since they are fond of "biblical definitions." Will the women workers be required to wear skirts since the bible forbids it? (Deut 22:5) Will they fire all their tattooed workers? (Leviticus 19:28) Or perhaps they're just cherry-picking what they want to adhere to? I support love in ALL of its forms. Goodbye Chick-fil-A. I hope you and your bigoted company go bankrupt.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Tired of This

      It would be nice if you read and understood the WHOLE Bible. You selected a few quotes from the old testament. You picked a perfect name for yourself.

      July 19, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Alas, the bigot is you. To bad you can't see that.

      July 19, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • :-)

      @cherry picker – old testament, new testament...understand the Bible before you use it for your own benefit. Oh, and they still serve "gays"...so where does this "adhering" come from? They understand sin and aren't banning ANYONE because of it..

      July 19, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • War919

      If you support love in all its forms, then why can you not find it in yourself to love those whose beliefs differ from yours? Oh, you meant to say that you support of forms of carnal pleasure and that love has nothing to do with your point of view.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • SlamDunk

      Bigotry is a double-edged sword. When you take a stand like yours (and that of many others) you have decided which edge of the blade to use to cut your own throat with. You have left yourself no room for compromise or reconciliation. If you ever eat another Chic fil a you will have lost all of your credibility. There is a name for that kind of person also.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. V. L. Bell

    Great job Chick Fil-a. I see no hate in their statement. They believe in man and woman marriage as defined in the Bible. They never spoke of hating on others fr not believing that way. Jesus spoke of love, love one another. But he did state of hating sin. No sin is above any other sin, and all sin is equal. We all sin, but through the Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. if you don't believe what I believe in, that's fine. I don't hate you, I may disagree with you, which is fine. If we were all Aliya's the same beliefs, thoughts, and preferences, this would be a boring life.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      WELL SAID

      July 19, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Black

      That's fine, you have your beliefs. Why is it so hard to keep them to yourself? When you give money to organizations that actively oppose gay marriage, you're trying to push your beliefs onto others. Marriage is not a Christian concept; you don't own it. Marriage predates the Bible. You really have no moral right to stand in the way of someone else's happiness, I don't care what it says in the Bible. That is a book that tells you explicitly not to judge others, yet you're using it to judge others! We are not beholden to our fellow man for our sins, only to God. Therefore, you shouldn't be using the Bible to judge others. In other words: you're doing it wrong.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. ZombieHunter2012

    The gays can have Popeyes, KFC, Church's, Zaxby's, Bojangles or any other chicken joint if they really want.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. mensa member

    Southern Christians are so filled with right wing rage and hate. How very sad they feel their hate is somehow justified by the words of the Prince of Peace. God bless and forgive you.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Mosey

      The only thing we're full of is Chick-fil-A chicken. Gay marriage is disgusting and it's awesome that someone is finally standing up to it publicly.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. David Christopher

    But the rest of the world is supposed to share "christian" values? The world does not revolve around those, either. So those of us who are offended by this company's stance have every right to shout about it. So-called "christians" are attempting to place their values into law, i.e. reproductive law, marriage law, so why should those of us who disagree sit back and let it happen? So, the world does not revolve around "christians" either.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • jorge

      hope you don't choke on that great food from Chick fil a, or whatever is in your mouth. You must hate those four words imprinted on our money too..

      July 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phyllis

      So Christians are trying to impose their religion on law? Excuse me but did you not know that our laws were actually based on Biblical law? There would be nothing but chaos if we didn't have the laws based on the Ten Commandments.
      I am quite sure that even without your business God will continue to bless Mr Cathy because of his stand and not in spite of it. Stating the truth of the Bible is not hate.

      July 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • VinceRN

      Since "Christian Values" are generally summed up in the "Golden Rule", I say yes, the world would be better off with more of that.

      July 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • nixliberals

      Christians are not attempting to put "our" values into the law. The laws were written from a Christian point of view at the start. Where did you learn your history? Where did you learn your morality? You, the minority, pro LBGT, are attempting to put your "spin" into the law, with reverse psychology tactics. You know you surely are the Bigot. I want us all to get along, GOD will surely straighten this mess all out, while "our" Morality induced laws are respected even by the Supreme Court. Learn your lesson, we have FREEDOM of RELIGION, not Freedom FROM Religion. C U on JUDGMENT DAY!!!!

      July 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Isn't it funny that most of the hatred, intolerance, and bigoted remarks are being posted by "non-Christians?" And all the "controversy" is over disagreement of another person's opinion? Wow!

      July 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JG

      you really have no idea what your talking about, do you.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • EKIA

      We don't want to put our values into law. We just don't want to pay for your lifestyle choices. If you don't want to put your money into Chik-Fil-A then don't, your choice. If I don't want to pay for your abortions, birth control or kids you can't afford then I won't, my choice.

      July 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
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