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.
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 â€“ 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.
â€śIt'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. Â As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality.â€ť
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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It humors me that all of these haters say their not Christians but keep referring to God as to not hate anyone that is gay or immoral. You are correct, God does not hate anyone, I'm a Christian and would know better than you. However, it is known, since I'm a Christian, that God blesses those that follow his commandments and punicshes those that do not. Chik-filet gives all their glory to God and has every right to do so as they welcome his blessings. On the other hand, they also fear God as he is knows to punish those that are immoral. We Christians know this as we read the Bible. Its really simple, if you don't like church, you don't go. If you don't like Chik-Filet, don't go. No matter your choice, God will continue to bless Chik-Filet and it's owners because he is in control, not the haters.
sorry mike but just because you have read the bible does not in anyway mean you know gods word. Those words were written by men to control people, then edited by other men to fit their agenda of money and power. Please research your religion and reread the bible.
By the way, I think that anyone has the right to express their opinion. Until you start discriminating against people. But there is no discrimination here. Sorry gays, you usually have my support but everyone deserves the right to their opinions.
I have boycotted this company for years based on their narrow minded beliefs of bigotry and discrimination. By the way, another fast food place that recently opened in our town Cook Out has the same philosophy, and puts biblical quotes on thier bags and cups. Needless to say, they are boycotted as well !
Why haven't you changed your biblical name?
I'm sure your little "boycot" will SO affect their bottom line. It's good though that you are standing up for your beliefs, just like Chik-fil-A. Don't agree with them, but don't hate them either. No one is forcing you to eat there.
The only intolerance I see here is the lefty's railing against one mans honesty. This CEO has simply voiced his support of the traditional family. In a country where unwed births and fatherless families grow every year, morality and values decline, it is refreshing to have a company stand for belief in the traditional family unit. I saw nothing in his comments that said the LGBT community is damned or not welcome in his stores. I saw no hate nor fear mongering, simply a love and support for family values which are solid foundations for society as a whole.
The only hate I see in this story are the posts from people who are too narrowminded too simply accept that although the company does not share their own beliefs and they would rather see the demise of the business instead of accepting the "diversity", Get over yourselves. I am not for gay marriage myself and have gay friends, the fact we dont agree on that fact does not mean I would not do business with them or wish them any harm. It constantly amazes me the left leaning intolerance when someone does not accept your way of thinking. No wonder the US is in such a state!
No John, you do wish your friends harm. You wish them to not have the same rights as you simply because they aren't the same as you and because you misinterpret some stupid 2000 year old book that has been translated 500 times. That makes you a bigot, and apparently one that is too stupid to even realize it.
Thank you, John!
I remember a few years ago the 80 something y.o. founder was burglarized by some punks at his Florida home. He forgave and declined to press charges. These guys seem to practice what they preach.
Think I'll eat there soon.
If you don't want to eat from there it is your choice. Freedom of choice at work.
I'm sorry – exactly where do find any evidence of "hate", "hatred", "bigotry", or your trump card of "intolerance" in Mr. Cathy's statement here?? This is a privately-owned company that supports the traditional definition of marriage; you know the one that has existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years? Talk about intolerance and hatred? Just read the comments posted here.
Anyone who speaks out against Gay people helps promote acts of violence against them as being justified.
"Traditional marriage?" Who's definition? In some cultures that have existed for hundreds and thousands of years, women take more than one man for a husband. In some cultures that have existed for hundreds and thousands of years arrange marriages, often at a very young age. In some cultures that have existed for hundreds and thousands of years, divorce is a sin. There has never been just one definition of marriage, one set of rules, one universally accepted notion of marriage. What you are talking about is but one definition of marriage – I assume this Western Christian definition that is actually quite new in the history of the human species. One that only recently allowed mixed raced marriages. Now there's something to stand by and be proud of.
God first made MAN and declared it good, then out of mans rib he created WOMAN to be a help meet to him and to procreate and declared her good. We are here for God's purpose not OURS. He made man and woman and marriage and blessed that union. Not man to marry man or woman to marry woman! If you don't believe in Our Creator and follow His word you will be judged someday when he returns again, which may be today! Are you ready to be judged? If you die today, do you know where you will spend eternity?
Amen & amen!!!!!
Beware those claiming to be Christian that do not have Christian values. The bottom line is no organization that passes judgement on another group of people is a Christian organization. They may call themselves Christian–but the devil does that all the time. One only has to use their God given brains and it is easy enough to tell that many individuals and groups that hold themselves out as Christian do so only to entice the weak-minded into evil ways.
I agree that they have a right to their beliefs, but harems, murder, war, pestilence,etc have also existed for many a millennia. Should we continue anything and everything because it has existed for a long time?
When I see traditional marriage in the bible, it seams to be mostly polygamy. Guys having multiple wives because woman are inferior.
Traditional marriage is not man and woman. It's man and woman and woman and woman and woman. If y'all want to carry forward Christian values. Go protest against war, poverty, and the death penalty. All the Christians I know are fake, so they complain about irrelevant things. Maybe if you try hard enough, you can scare those people back in the closet. Then one can marry your daughter, have some kids, and realize 20 years later that he is not living his destiny. So he leaves your daughter and grandchildren to be with what he truly likes. Dudes. Leaving your daughter and grandchildren devastated. Keep using that religion for fear, your daughter and grandkids await a lifetime of misery.
Your opinion will not change Gods Word. All will stand before judgement.
@Wunderland, the fact that certain beliefs have existed for "hundreds, if not thousands" of years doesn't mean they are valid. Look at things like sharia law, oppression of women in the Middle East. I guess you support those too, since they've been practices for centuries.
Which is it Wunderland? Is it hundreds or thousands of years that one definition of marriage has existed? Or is it that you really don't know and are simply repeating a talking point you heard somewhere. You clearly need to brush up on the history of marriage. The definition of marriage has changed throughout the years.
There is a huge difference between supporting your own version of something and trying to suppress someone else's.
Just like polygamy and incest... Those are ancient biblical customs as well.
Tradition ain't a defense. Slavery existed for hundreds, even thousands, of years and the people who still said with a straight face that they should be allowed to own another human being because people before them got to own human beings...they were still in the wrong.
Same here. That people before me decided marriage would be X or Y or Z has no bearing on the modern world. in fact, the further back in time you go, the less and less bearing such a thing should have. Why should modern, socially and scientifically advanced man be limited to the definitions laid down by a technologically-primitive, socially isolated Bronze Age people? The argument that "a bunch of misogynistic semi-nomadic desert dwellers three thousand years ago thought..." simply doesn't hold much water in 2012.
Anyone willing to actively seek to limit the lives, rights, and liberties of another IS espousing hate.
Right on the money, Wunder. "Hate" is the very first thing the shout when they hear something they disagree with. It begins to get old. "Intolerant" is another word freely bandied about by the intolerant political gay movement, yet, without exception they are the most intolerant people I've ever experienced. Chck-fil-A is a private company, they can say and do whatever they like – Get over it folks! Not everyone will agree with your position, it doesn't make it "hate". Chick-fil-A NEVER said they thought gays should be rounded up and exterminated – That's "hate" and wrong; Not agreeing with the gay agenda certainly isn't "hate".
It sure is funny how the gay support says if you dont believe how they believe it is hatred and intolerance! This gentleman did not say anything about hate, he said what his company believes in. Why does that bother you? Talk about intolerance! Obviously you dont believe in Straight marriage? You must be a hate monger then? You dont like his views and he doesnt like yours, so what!
Slavery existed for that long as well but most people evolved and figured out it was wrong....
its implied Wunderkid, so go back to your high school class and stop playing adult now.
@Wunderland Traditional does not equal right. We've tried to correct a lot of hateful things that were once traditional. Things like racism, womens' rights, the right for anyone to own land, the right to vote, etc. We all once answered to our feudal lords, should we go back to that tradition? Also, while this article only mentions a statement, he's donated millions of dollars to groups working to ensure gay marriage is banned.
Chik-Fil-A supports the tradition of marriage? So they have multiple wives and treat them as PROPERTY? cool!!
Marriage is between a man and woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman. That is a traditional marriage.
Religion is the basis of hate just ask gay people or people who don't believe in their belief.
You mean, the 'traditional, biblical' definition that has been, at different times recorded in the Bible – between siblings, between first cousins, between one man and multiple wives, between your dead brother's wife and you... You mean that marriage? Because I kind of doubt that, especially since he goes on to talk about how happy he is to still be married to his first wife. If he was a traditional marriage supporter, he'd have five or six by now.
So true, so true....same damn thing I was thinking. People read the damn statement and please stop all this bull.
That's because the mission of "tolerance" is not really about tolerance at all. It's about forcing people to accept a viewpoint. It kind of reminds me of the Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock, who was asked how he would bridge his differences with Democrats. He said he would "inflict" his views on the other side and force them to his own. That's exactly what the tolerance movement here is doing.
The truth is that those of us who are Christian will have to suffer for being so, and this is just one of those ways. Praise be to God.
So "traditional" marriage has remain unchanged in 100's or 1000's of years. As recently as 1967 we had 17 states that didn't allow blacks to marry whites. Look up Richard Loving for the story that started the real change. Marriage is as ever evolving as life is.
Hmmm wonder if those 17 states are similar to the states that are up in arms about this set or civil rights issues
Do they support stoning people? Because that's been around for thousands of years as well. What an assinine argument. Anyways... actively working against equal rights for people based on who they are is discriminatory and the foundation of discrimination is hate, not love. Let's all just decide to deny bald men the right to marry because they are bald. Sure, why not. I don't hate bald men. I just don't think they should ever be married because they are an abomination.
Very well stated đź™‚
The evidence you're asking about would be found in the millions of dollars they've spent advocating for things to deny rights to some people. You may also want to do some research on the history of "marriage"; it most assuredly has NOT been stable for thousands of years.
Thank you!! .. that was what I was going to say.. there was no hate in his statement at all. He didn't speak against anyone, he just upheld his belief system.. his right to do so!
I agree with ya. It saves me having to type. đź™‚
I've been advised more than once that I should eat at Chick-fil-A because it is a Christian company despite the fact that I don't care for the food they serve. I'm a Christian, but I think this pushing of religion that's been going on with this company is ridiculous!
Hey Wunderland – "traditional"? Abraham had multiple wives. Try traditional=man + however many wives he wants. Go read the book you're so faithfully defending before trying to defend something that doesn't exist.
Perhaps you should conduct some research on the real history of "marriage." It's not what you think.
We get anymore liberals in this country and we might be headed to another civil war in decade or so. This country is splitting it two.
I agree. It seems its not ok to stand for what you belive in anymore.
chick-fil-A is crap. just that. fast food crap. who cares one way or another what they think?
I didn't see any hate, just a belief stated as all americans have the right to do. I just hope they don't state their thoughts on white meat vs dark meat or else Jackson and Sharpton will soon after be heard from.
That would be awesome if it were true, but it's not. "Traditional" marriage is only a few hundred years old. Look it up.
My sentiments exactly. What amazes me about our society is that it seems as if everyone has a right to live their lives and express their beliefs, except Christians. For a Christian to do so automatically incurs a hate label.
I agree! Seems that many in the gay and lesbian community are quite intolerant to anyone who believes other than them.
I think you should probably do your research on the history of marriage because you obviously don't know what you are talking about. "Traditional marriage" has only been around for a few hundred years, and the definition of marriage has been altered by the Church time and time again.
Thank you good sir. I find it funny that most the vitriolic comments often come from the supposedly tolerant people. If you're a woman, like say Nancy French, and you take a stand for traditional marriage, prepare to be called all sorts of vile names. It just lets you know who really are the hate-filled ones.
You may think that idea of marriage has existed for ever – but it hasn't. History shows many different versions of marriages, from child brides being bought to many marriages consisting of multiple-wives – and all of them considered themselves Christians. Who's version is correct?
If you really want to talk about long-standing, traditional marriage, it was only created for property exchange. Marriage was a legal agreement between 2 families in exchange of assets, seeing as women were seen as property back then. It had nothing to do with love and family. All about land and wealth.
"Traditional" definition? What exactly is that considering that 50% of all marriages end in divorce?
How can it not be intolerance or hate? If someone excludes a portion of the society, that is intolerance. That is exclusion. My rights cannot be defined by your religious beliefs. I would not want to teach intolerance to my kids and that is what you are saying is okay.
You are so right. Just because the gay lifestyle is not accepted or agreed with doesn't mean that one hates the doer. Chick-fil-A serves the best fast food I have ever had. I eat there regularly and will continue to do so. It is always crowded. I'm sure the company won't miss the patronage of a few extremist who want to force their lifestyle down the throats of citizens and companies who believe firmly in traditional marriage and relationships. We won't try to take away your rights as long as you don't try to take away ours. I can't help wondering if they have ever heard of SODOM and GOMORRAH.
Oh no – if you're not with me, you're against me. You must comply with the zombie-group-think who will slander anyone who doesn't comply.
The evidence can be found in the Holy Bible. Mr. Cathy is quoted as saying "the biblical definition of the family unit". If you actually read the Bible you would find all the evidence you need of hate, bigotry and intolerance.
The statement posted here is not the whole story. If you think it is, you really have been living in a cave. Chick fil first prentended that they didn't support anti-gay organizations. They when they got cought at it, they denied it. And it happened again and they denied it again. and again and again. So, now, they are starting to give in, and admit it.
Supporting traditional marriage would include doing things to uplift traditional marriage. The groups that chick fil a donates time, money and food to don't put effort into uplifting traditional marriage. Their energies are focused on tearing down marriage they disapprove of. I don't see how trying to block gay couples from hospital visitations supports traditional marriage. I don't see how trying to prevent gay couples from being able to inherit property from one another supports traditional marriage. I don't see how refusing to serve food to a gay couple supports tradtional marriage.
I really don't see how refusing to franchise to a jewish person supports traditional marriage. I don't see how refusing to promote black people to management roles supports traditional marriage. I dont' see how refusing to let people with dark skin work the cash register promotes traditional marriage.
But hey, it's your team and you support them. Good on ya. I'm sure god will give you a gold star when the day is done.
You are exactly right, but in our culture, the disapproval of or disagreement with someone has come to be equated with hate. Everyone wants ever other person to not only tolerate what they do, but also to embrace it and tell them that they approve. It's crazy and illogical, but that is the way our country is now. Supporting one type of family unit does not mean that you "hate" those who feel differently or that you would treat them discourteously. And I doubt seriously that many people would stick to boycotting a good sandwich over it, either. Another characteristic of our current culture is that most people don't seem to have the discipline to an idea that long.
Are you talking about the Christan view of marriage, or the view of marriage that has different ideas and beliefs based on the culture they come from.
It's pretty silly to me that people think marriage is some bastion that has existed for thousands of years and is unchangeable, considering that not only did the church NOT get involved in most marriages for a long time in Europe and considered them a secular matter (check your history) but there are thousands of cultures throughout our planet that have their own, completely valid interpretations of marriage that aren't the same as this interpretation. There is nothing sacred or set in stone about the so-called christian interpretation. It's just one interpretation amongst many and has no more validity than any other.
Wait...marriage has been around for hundreds or maybe even thousands of years in this form (not true btw, a simple wiki search will help you out with that one) so therefore we must continue doing it....but,
christians have been persecuted for hundreds (for sure not thousands or they would be older than the dinosaurs by your count!!!)...so, should we keep doing it because it has been going on for so long?
Maybe you need to do what you need to do to make yourself feel better and let the rest of us do the same when it comes to issues that only make us stronger and bring people together. Stop trying to make us all do what you want us to do with our bodies (gross, pervs!) ...and maybe things like boycotting chicken sandwiches won't be so important.
Its not ridiculous to boycott a company that takes our money and uses it against the right of our friends and relatives...we choose not to give you the power to spend money on hateful ventures.
Agree!! Well said!
Its not in the statement, its in the groups they have donated over 5 million dollars to. Those groups believe gays should be killed, hung, drug from cars, and other absolutely horrible things. The groups are absolutely scary, and yet a corporation with Christian values is donated larges sums of money to them. Kinda ironic.
Ignorant, uneducated, Religion pigeons. God is a little imaginary friend for adults. I pity you sheeple so bad.
THEY ARE OWNED BY THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION. What did you expect him to say. Offended. Eat somewhere else and get off your high horse. Who's the intolerant now?
I'd rather people be intolerant of bigoted morons that can't think for themselves and do what a 2000 year old book tells them to do than be intolerant of someone because they are attracted to someone of the same gender. Are religious people really so stupid that they think Jesus himself would tell gay people that they are going to burn in hell, can't get married, etc?
There's an open-minded, tolerant, non-hater.
You know, I'm an atheist, but people like you that seem to have a personal axe to grind against anyone with religious faith puzzle me. The only thing I can think of is you are jealous of their committment, or their community, or their ability to get out of their own heads and enjoy the peace of their god? I am happy for anyone who has something in their lives that gives them comfort (as long as you're not hurting others). Same reason I believe gays should have every right that straights enjoy...who am I to deny someone love and happiness? Mellow out, dude.
Not sure why people are acting like this is new. They have been ignorant for years.
Glad they're not chicken and cave in to abnormal behavior as normal. I would eat there all the time to support them. Mostly because they stand up what they believe in while surrounded by vicious PC police.
How about boycotting the artery-clogging food they make. That aside, I thank Mr Cathy for giving me another reason to not support that fast food chain.
Great Job Chic-Fil-A.
If they are that bent on being so-called biblical correct, then they need to fire all whom have divorced, committed adultry and so on. and if they think that there are no GAYS working at Chick fil A or for that fact in their families, they need to pull their heads out of the sand.
They have the right to their beliefs and I have the right to take my business elsewhere. Which I will do.
This is no different than someones preference of hamburgers over chicken sandwiches; there was no hate involved with their statements!!
@Nick The difference is, the people that like hamburgers aren't trying to get the government to ban chicken sandwiches.
How many Gay stories is GayNN going to report!
I could not agree more with your statement. I will continue to go to Chick-fil-a.