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. Rebecca

    Who eats that crappy fast
    food...seriously – unless you are 13 years or younger...go to a real restaurant.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. khamsomphoui

    When I pay to get a Chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-a, I get a chicken sandwich. When I payed to see Ricky Martin as a man, I got ... Well everybody know what happened there.

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

      Actually, when you're paying for the sandwich, you're also paying for profits for the company, some of which are then spent on political advocacy on social issues. Just sayin

      July 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kwoodjr

      Omg, what happened. did he become a woman? God, you're stupid.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PlainJane

    Just to be clear can I choose not to support something but not necessarily fight against it?...gays will probably tell me I can't and therefore a biggot trying to force my views on everyone.

    RIP America they've taken the last thing you've been able to control YOUR MIND

    July 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      They're fighting against it too ya know. That's what spending all those millions of dollars on advocacy is about.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chuck in Dallas

    Chick-fil-A is free to believe what they want AND to make those beliefs public, but there's a price to pay for doing this. I hope it's a very high price. I wouldn't eat a Chick-fil-A if it was given to me now.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris D.

    This is stupid. Chick-fil-A and I might share different beliefs, but I'm not going to boycott their (delicious) food. People need to stop getting so butthurt over stuff like this.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      Would you be butthurt if they decided to fire all people named Chris D.?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hot Wax Residue

      Their food suck and you are obviously a company paid stooge.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Chris apparently doesn't mind that some of the money he's paid to the company has then gone on to be spent on advocating for policies and beliefs he doesn't share. Oh well ...

      July 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ensense

      The gay community is not going to make much difference here so it is a good calculated move from the company they know their market well. Its good that they are standing up to their beliefs, This article has just made me more curious to try their food

      July 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ensense

      Who cares what the company uses its money for. as long as they serve the food i want. they can choose to spend their money they way they like.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lakewrites

    Kudos for standing up to the dogma! Your POV is as important as a gay person's. Resist the politically correct who are "Not!" We are individuals with different mindsets; not copies of a select group of clones! This country is suffocating from minority demands.Your personal views are yours...private; they don't reflect on secregating business patrons. It's now an Obama law that no one can deter business by inciting a boycott.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sam

    Good for Chick-fil-A. Just because you don't support a certain lifestyle doesn't mean that you are a hate monger or a bigot. As long at they operat within the law, I don't have any problems with them stating their values.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      If you don't like all of Gods creations, take a stand against his mistakes.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ChickenOfHate

    Don't buy bigot chicken. Save a cow.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lloyd

    And the drive thru line will still be wrapped around the building for that yummy Jesus Biscuit. Its about time someone had the courage to stand up for their beliefs!!! You know....kinda what this country is all about..........

    July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      What do you mean it is about time. Gay men and women have gone from the cradle to the grave knowing nothing but discrimination in America. The promise of all men being created equal is just a slogan to make bigoted Americans feel good.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. muffin72

    I support marriage between men and fish...and if you don't agree with that and support me, you are a hater and a bigot.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • GonzoG

      When a fish can sign it's own marriage certificate–we'll talk about Man/Fish weddings.

      However, if you can deny two humans the right to contractually bind their intimate lives-then you can deny members of different religions that right, followed by members of different races, then different ethnic groups, until you're back to America being a Rich White Christian Only country and everybody else get out.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Two consenting adults.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Al

    We stopped eating there years ago when they kept getting bashed for racism in the workplace. It's too bad. I did like their chicken, but I just can't support such open bigotry. They are welcome to believe whatever they wish, just as consumers are welcome to shop elsewhere.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObjectiveGuy

      Al, I think you are referring to Denny's, not Chick-fil-A.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Halle

    That is a very emotional post.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rick

    AMEN to Chick-fil-A !! Your opinion matters! I support your idea 100% and if the GAY community doesn't like it they can....

    July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Doc

    I don't necessarily agree with their stance, but I love that they aren't cowards! And it's for that reason that I'll keep patronizing their restaurants.

    And as for the dude that's quoted in the article as saying "...it's good to see Chick-fil-A finally admit to their anti-LGBT policies," does he have the IQ of a turnip? They didn't say they wouldn't serve a gay person or not hire someone, only that the owner and his family have a particular definition of marriage. Cripes. As others have said, disagreeing with someone does not equate to hate. For crying out loud, what is the matter with this country that it's come to that?

    July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObjectiveGuy

      Yes, right on. From a liberal's viewpoint, the only people who are bigots are those whose viewpoints don't agree with theirs. They can bash the other side all day long for having a different viewpoint, and then hypocritically don't view themselves as bigots. Interesting, but pathetic.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Larry

    it's his business. if it suffers because of his beliefs so be it.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
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