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.

10 religious companies besides Chick-fil-A

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

soundoff (4,679 Responses)
  1. Think for yourself

    If there is no hate in their statement, would there have been hate if the statement included a stance against interracial marriage? Just because you believe in something does not make it nondiscriminatory. I suppose the president of Chick-Fil-A can decide how he "wants the company ran" according to Jon's post. I suppose they could put segregated rest rooms in their restaurants too without anyone getting upset. Hey, if it is what they believe they should be able to stand up to their beliefs and people should just accept it. You would think by now with every thing that has happened with this country that people would start respecting each other and minding their own business.
    You can support traditional marriage all you want, but you should do so without disrespecting other's. Do not try to push your values on others, and do not let others try to push their values on you. In other words, mind your own business.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Calvin Bonner

    In a world like ours today, it would seem like we would have realized that we can't make decisions for GOD. This is something that person who we think is doing wrong will have to face, when they see GOD. Read your bible and remember the part where no man can judge another, besides can you throw the first stone.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Crazy Yates

    Business-wise I think it's a stupid move but it is his money to lose and in my opinion it will cost him in the long run. For all the folks that are standing up and saying they'll eat every meal they ever eat for the rest of their lives to support him there will be dozens that avoid the place like the plague. I feel sorry for any franchisee that is outside the bible belt.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I'm recruiting dozens to start eating there regularly. Kinda shoots your theory in the foot – huh?

      July 19, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Ahhh, Christian values, no work on Sunday, anti-gay, and pay your employees as little as legally possible.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • AshleyM512

      They still employ gay people. They aren't being discrimitory.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Gary - Texas Christian

    God bless Chick-fil-A! I will make a concerted effort to eat there more often. I also just contributed $100 to the Boy Scouts!

    July 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      Good for you Gary. Have you donated any money to the Taliban yet? Your close-minded and simpleton of a mind would fit right in there.

      July 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • jb1963

      r u guys still trying to have Texas leave the country? i hope so. We don't want bigots like u in the great country

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

      I talked with my family and we took the 4 boys out of Scouts stopped my contributions of 1,000 a year and they will not be eating at chick-fil-a again, so it pretty much leaves CFA and BSA in a hole.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Yeah right. Is your brain on empty?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Osama

      Amen, brother!

      July 19, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • CoreBeliefs

      I'm right there with you Gary – love Chick-Fil-A and will eat there more often now, and the Boy Scouts are in my will

      July 19, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • non christian mom

      I just took my children out of BSA and stopped all donations ... we will eat at McDonalds before we eat at CFA again.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • TOLERANCE617

      ROFL sad truly sad...no wonder why you live in Texas it's hell!!!

      July 19, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • ironfray

      Yes. Eat up and clog your arteries so you can visit God sooner.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • C. of S.

      It won't help. You still won't pass as straight.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • jakedog

      Who really gives a crap what you Texans think anyway?

      July 19, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • mom

      took my boys out, stopped all donations and no chickfila ever.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Good for you, continue living in your closed minded ways. If there is a god he won't be rewarding you for these choices when you go to heaven.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ilovefoxnews

      The Boy Scouts of America do an incredible job of placing innocent youth in the way child molesters, and do a bang up job of denying it. They will enjoy your gigantic donation. It's sad to see mislead Christians on their way to the firey inferno that Hell has to offer them. Good luck up there, Gary.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jodster

      Shame on the boy scouts. i will definately stop supporting them.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lobster

      so the Scouts can discriminate against gay kids? how Christian of you!!!

      July 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      just what the world needs....more unenlightened dipsticks...

      July 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chick Fil Cee U Next Tuesday!

      Bet you also beat your children.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      I totally agree! EAT MORE CHICKEN!!

      July 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jt-christian

      God bless Chick-Fil-A!!!!! I admire their courage to stand up in a corrupt world and speak openly about staying true to the bible. Last time I checked the bible was about living by God's law and not sinful desires, God is Great!!!!

      July 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • RW

      It makes me laugh that you have "Christian" in your screen name. You are anything but Christian. Bigot.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Backwards-thinking people like you once thought women shouldn't be given the right to vote and slaves should remain so. But you can't stop progress. All of this too, will eventually pass. So enjoy it while you can.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Infusing hate into Jesus: Gary's Expressway to Heaven.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      "God Bless Chik-Fil-A"
      Have you ANY idea how absolutely idiotic-you-sound?
      ANY idea at all?

      July 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • sburns54

      Eat their fried crud 3 times a day, until you blow up like a tick and your arteries burst. That'll show those gays!

      July 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • fearnogod

      @gary...Glad to see your uneducated bigoted mind is in Texas, please don't visit Pennsylvania.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • sbreezy

      thanks so much gary for being so christ-like and american – only a true american like you will help suppress the rights of those that are different from yourself ! enjoy eating your fried chicken mcnugget sandwiches on wonder bread and dont forget to eat your bacon and eggs every morning before church!

      July 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • nick

      ignorant texans

      July 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christian?

      A true Christian would know that the bible teaches us not to judge, that right is reserved for God and God alone. When you bash people for being gay, when you donate money to an organization that attempts to squash gay rights, you are making a judgement on those people for their actions and beliefs and going against the things you claim you believe in above all others.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • From a gay man

      you will do this JUST because they do not agree with gay marriage and the scouts will not allow gay people in their group? you should look inside yourself

      July 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conqui

      Unless you are following all the 600+ laws in classic orthodox Judaism, there is no evidence God condones excluding anyone from anything. Especially if one believes anything Jesus said, which supposedly is what makes a person a Christian. Jesus said how we treat others is how we treat Him, what we think of others is what we think of Him. But perhaps you don't claim to be a Christian, I maybe wrongfully made that assumption. It is simply wrong to support exclusionary policies that are contrary to God's love for everyone.

      July 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • whatahit

      I'm with you all the way!!

      July 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Interested48

      What would Jesus do? Not what you're doing!

      July 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Did you know that Houston has one of the biggest Gay Pride parades...

      July 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • God's main man

      Did you contribute to boy scoits so you can mollest boyscouts? Are you a priest? Silly priest.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Venturer

    Hating people because of their religious beliefs is what extremist Islamists do. People who hate the Boiy Scouts and Chik-Fil=A becaujse of their values do not exhibit the tolerance that they themselves expect from others.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan Garcia

      Can I get an A-men??? Dan is disagreeing with the right for gay people to get married not disagreeing with the right to be gay. How does that say hate?

      July 19, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Holly

    They are not bashing the gay and lesbian community. They are just stating their beliefs. They did not say anything ugly. Why is it that if you do not agree with another person's lifestyle that you are instantly the bad guy? Just like people have the right to live a gay or lesbian lifestyle, other's also have the right to not agree with it. It's when a person starts bashing or trying to physically harm someone elses lifestyle that is bad. It doesn't make someone bad just because they don't believe the same way as another. And isn't that the message the gay and lesbian community is trying to get across anyways? I don't agree with some people's lifestyle but that wouldn't stop me from buying their goods or doing business with them. So why is Chick Filet a horrible company just because they believe a different way than some others?

    July 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Ntrain2k

      Well said!

      July 19, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. AJ

    Why would they want to? Clearly you're the only one fit to drink from your toilet bowl!

    July 19, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Paris

    Just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean they HATE you! That is ridiculous! Stop using the "hate" argument....and get a life!

    July 19, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. AshleyM512

    Wait..I thought we all had a right to believe what we wanted? Good for them for standing on what they believe in. It doesn't mean they "hate" gays, it means they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. Will it change the taste of their food? Nope. So what does it really matter? It's not like they're saying they refuse to serve gay people.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brett

    Just because you believe in something does not make you a bigot or hate monger. If you believe in gay marriage does that automatically make you a bigot and hate traditional marriage?....No! Why is it that I am accused of hate because I am a Christian when in reality the opposite is true. Just because I disagree with something, no matter what it is, does not necessarily determine my hatred for that something. I have eaten at many restaurants, fine dining and otherwise, where my server was gay and had a fantastic experience and have gone back many times. Do I hate/boycot that restaurant because of the gay employee...no. In my mind, just because you support one thing does not mean you hate the other. Why is this such a big deal, it is just chicken with great service, eat it if you like it, don't eat it if you don't...it should be that simple

    July 19, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    Just because someone does not like what you do, does not mean they hate you.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott B

      @Bob Of course not. When the pass laws to ban peoples' rights, that's hate.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. yoshi

    God created gays. God wants people to be happy. If gays want to marry, then let them. You might not like what people say, but you should defend their right to say it. Same with marriage. You might not like who marries who, but you should defend their right to do it. That's how a free society works. This whole controversy is a foolish.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. HillWilly

    I do not agree with them... BUT I do not agree with corporations giving large amounts of money to the Government elections either. Yet I still shop there for what I need or want. Same goes here. I will not boycott them for their views....just like they would not bar my entrance because of mine.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    I find it so amazing that when someone expresses an opinion on gay marriage it automatically turns into an issue of hate. All the man said was that he would support traditional marriage over gay marriage he did not say chick-fil-a would stop serving gays. Where's the hate.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172