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.

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Chick-fil-A controversy sheds light on restaurant's Christian DNA

soundoff (4,679 Responses)
  1. Shaggydog

    This guy knows his market: Fat, stupid, religious southerners. He just saying what they want to hear.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Great

    I don't eat there. But I think I might start. Support them for standing up for what they believe. At least I will feel safe in line and know that the guy behind me isn't looking at my backside wishing he could put something up in it.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • momo-chan

      you're an idiot.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Maya

      Why are bigoted straight men always so conceited? Seriously, why do you all think that all gay men are attracted to you?

      July 19, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Christian Morals!

    The only hate I see are the people bashing ChickFILA! You have the freedom and free wll to do as you wish – be it GAY or NOT GAY! Just as you have the freedom and free will to be Christian or non-Christian. His statement wasnt one of hate – it was one of his and his companys christian Morals and faith of their beliefs. He didnt say that they ban Gays or hate them. He said he believes in the traditional family unit. There is nothing wrong with his comment – or family values – There are all types of family units in this world today. Just as you believe in non-traditionall! Many support each of them. His statement stands for love in his belief as a Christian. Jesus never hit anyone over the head and said you must follow me! HE gives you free will to decide your path! ChickFILA doesn't say if you eat here YOU hate Gays!! Seriously – think before you type!
    ~A Child of God

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

      I, my two wives, three concubines and my brother's widow (who I'm trying desperately to impregnate), applaud your support of Biblical marriage.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Liz

    Read Romans Chapter One. We as followers of Christ, need to stand up more. We are being told how to think, what is right and wrong and we are believing them instead of listening to what our Lord has to say. It is not hate when you want to see people around you safe in the arms of God. You can hate the sin, and it is a sin, and not hate the person. God is love but He also hates sin. Stand up and be counted as those who follow what God says not man.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • claybigsby

      sorry, but nothing in that book was written by god.

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

    It is about time that someone stand up for American Values and Christian beliefs. I support you Chick-fil-A! Maybe more business should get a clue? Eat More Chicken!

    July 19, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike'sOpinion

      My local Chick-Fil-A employs illegal aliens that barely speak English. What American value is that?

      July 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scrappyike

    It seems that Gays are oversensitive and feel that their lifestyle 'has' to be accepted by everybody. If they want people to respect their choice in lifestyle, then they should respect those who choose to support the traditional marriage. I do not see Chick-fil-a making any kind of bigoted or discriminating comments. They merely voiced their support for the traditional marriage. I do see the gay community being boorish about the whole thing. Good for Chick-fil-a. I will keep spending my money there.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Steph Brusig

      They give money to anti gay organizations and for laws against us. How is that good? You think that is a Christian value? Hate?

      July 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. StatusStillUp

    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christian
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • miketofal


      July 19, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Maya

      And you can read that post and STILL be completely convinced that there is nothing irrational about your beliefs.

      Christianity is self-delusion at its finest. If it wasn't so destructive, I would be impressed.

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

      10. No, I feel outraged when I'm marginalized for openly stating that I believe in one God and one Savior by people who profess to be tolerant until they figure out I'm not an atheist.

      9. Ape To Man doesn't belong on the History Channel. It belongs on SyFy until someone can come up with a better theory than Mary the four-foot austrolopithecus and the Piltdown fiasco for how we got here. And no one has a problem believing that glass is made from sand, so I really don't care that we were made from dirt.

      8. If the Triune God didn't exist, I'd love to visit Mt. Olympus and have hot monogamy with Aphrodite.

      7. At least God warned the Egyptians first, and the slaughter of other nations was done face to face, not in a cowardly fashion like hidden suicide bombers. And for the record, Christians go purple at both instances. Believe me, it doesn't make us proud to know that nations were wiped out. That's just a human reaction.

      6. Of course I laugh at any mention of deified humans. I would never think so highly of myself, considering the way I drive. The beautiful thing about God and Mary was, oh yeah, God can do what God wants to do. That's kind of the job description, and it was not carnal like the Greek Gods so as to avoid the sinful birth.

      5. Science spends decades looking for the Higg's Boson, and will now spend centuries ignoring the cause of the Higgs Boson. And for the record, only the most fundamentalist Christians belive the world is only 7,000 years old.

      4. "Judge not, lest you be judged". It's not up to me where the rest of the planet goes. "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." A true Christian will not ask where you've been, he/she will ask where you are going. (And you are right about the sect part- I used to attend a Church of Christ study where I was told I wasn't a real Christian because I didn't swallow their interpretation of a few verses.)

      3. Science proves many great things, but always stops before the ultimate cause. Science says hurricanes and tornadoes are caused by high barometric pressure. True. But what is responsible for the high barometric pressure that leads to the hurricane and the tornado? And I've never been much for tongues, except in kissing. I'll take the unexplained shrinking of a tumor from the size of a basketball to that of a pea in two hours or ending up on the side of the road unscathed in heavy traffic after passing out from 24 beers while in the far left lane as proof of God.

      2. I've never heard Christians put a percentage on it. I can only speak for myself that when I've NOT gotten something I've prayed for, I've always gotten something better down the line.

      1. You're absolutely right, and I wonder what made people like that turn away. George Carlin was raised Catholic and Bill Maher even took a Bible class. The knowledge is/was there. But again, I'll use Jesus' own words in John 6:29. "The work of God is this: To believe in the one he has sent."

      Praise be to God.

      1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

      July 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. texas

    for all the people that call themselves christians and are the first ones to cast stones. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7-3 5

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

    Mr Kathy- Just another misguided soul who will figure it out some day.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    If I don't agree with you, then I must hate you. Wow. Sounds like a 12 year old angry when they don't get their way.

    Logical argument as well.... Try reason....

    And I don't care if gays marry or not...yes I'm Christian

    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. tguy777

    Thank you Chick-Fil-A. Christians, from the beginning, have been hated, along with our Lord Jesus. It does not matter what the subject is, we will always have hate against us and our faith. Stay strong, God bless you and for every hate filled comment here, a pray a blessing to you and everyone who supports you. God bless, Troy

    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • miketofal

      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi

      July 19, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • StatusStillUp

      You are hated because you are stu pid. World is only 6000 years old huh? world is flat huh? 7th century sand rats dictated your beliefs. You should be so proud.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tim

    Chickfila food is delicious and a healthier chioce than many other options in the fast food arena. Their genuine service and proffessionalism stands higher than all fast food establishments and many full service restaurants. Truett Cathy is a genius and pioneer. My family and I don't care what their non food service related ideals are (provided they are not extremists). And this BS about gay marriage has nothing to do with chicken sandwiches. The true 'haters' are the ones out there that continue to try to push their ideals down my throat. Shut your pie holes and let me eat my chicken in peace!

    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike'sOpinion

      "...healthier choice..." is a really interesting phrase to use when describing a Chick-Fil-A or any fast food place.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dee

    I have not eaten at one for some time since I knew they had contributed to groups that work against equality for all. They have every right to believe what they want and say what they want. I have the right to not use their services and speak with everyone I know and explain why I don't. It has been quite successful as many that I know do not and will not eat there. If anyone actually believes that love is something God would be against and something he would spend his time fighting against then they are very disconnected with the world and the actual evil things that need attention.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. ryan

    get over it, since when does a business or anyone have to change what they stand for or believe in. This PC stuff is turning into a modern day Witch Hunt.

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

    For business purposes Chik Fil A is best to stay out of this arena, no matter "company" mission statements focusing on christian beliefs...worry about the bottom line and making a better product....if they feel so strongly make a policy where only white, flower printed dress women and suspender wearing gentlemen in your store, but im sure your restuarants go from 1600 to 1 if you did that.....I also find this funny these bible thumpers tend to be the alchy, wife beating, philandering, cheating kind....god wants us to love everyone

    July 19, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
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