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. Love4USA

    It isn't like he's not trying to serve gay people. In fact I believe I'll stop by there on my way home to support him.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. itsme

    Man, it is so obvious that many of you here don't know the meaning of the word "hate". You toss it around every time you don't agree with someone else's stance that it has lost all meaning. And the KKK references are even more ignorant and foolish. You guys really need to get a life.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Love4USA

      I agree. Where in the article does it say he hates gay people?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dirt Junior 666

    when are people gonna realize that religion is a crutch for the weak. believing in santa claus-god-jesus-easter bunny-thor-spiderman-batman-zeus- all the same. stop judging people and making decisions based on believing in fairy tales. the wrodl would be alot nicer if people just realized that religion is nonsense.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Yea.... Stalin and Mao were some of cuddliest folks ever to grace the planet. Except for that whole murdering millions of people thing.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      Which is your opinion...the beauty of living in this country gives us the right to our opinions. If it is then our opinion that God exists and we live by the bible, His word, why do you hate us for that? You have your opinion, and I have mine. I'm not bashing you for yours, and so you shouldn't bash me for mine. But even if you do...I still have my opinion and am free to express it, just as you are, friend. 🙂

      July 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • EnoughAlready

      They came out and laid their beliefs out for public scrutiny. Consequences are they will lose some customers, they may gain a few in return. Many just won't care. I won't eat there, or spend my money there. But then, I don't like their food.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rc


    July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Silly

    I've never eaten there. It seems like every Sunday on my way back from crabbing I try to stop at Chic but it is always closed.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. I agree

    Hip, hip, hooray for Chick-fil-a's stand for GOD's principles on family values. This country is going to see a move so earth shaking of God's people finally standing up to these perversions that are being pushed on the good people of this country.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      LOL, that's hilarious. Don't hold your breath waiting for all that nonsense.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jay in NC

    A delicious chicken sandwich or two guys boning each other, take your pick.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanSam

      Cute, but live and let live.

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

      What if the guys are eating delicious chicken sandwiches?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. this guy

    do they spend money to lobby against anti gay marriage laws? if not, then I dont care about this story.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • this guy

      I meant Lobby FOR anti gay marriage laws

      July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Yes, they've spent millions already advocating for things like that.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      that guy: yes, actually, they do. They donate money to anti-gay lobbying groups.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • BandWagon

      That's crap. Show me where that's happened.

      July 20, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. Eat_my_nuggets

    I enjoy the food at Chick-fil-A. If I stopped to consider the beliefs of every restaurant I ate at, i'm pretty sure I would have to grow my own food in the back yard. You could find something to dislike about anyone at all. So they love the christian god, they rest on sundays (when we crave chicken the most), and now disapprove of G&L. So what. You think your car dealership is any different. How about your cable company? How about your power company? How about you -(fill in the blank)_ company. Get over yourselves and see the company for what they are, a great place to get a sandwhich and a shake (or icedream if you prefer).

    July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      It's not that they have those beliefs, but that they're actively spending money advocating on them (money that you, in part, gave them).

      July 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. myke

    If you don't like the owner's personal beliefs, then don't eat there. While you're on a roll, you better find out what every other restaurant and retail store's owners believe...and make sure that you only go to places that believe exactly the way you do. Please, attach everyone that does not have your exact beliefs!

    July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Terrie

    Disagreeing doesn't equate to hate. Whatever happened to freedom to express your beliefs? I thought that was what our country was founded on, freedom!. Would love to hear an intelligent discussion instead of hyperbole.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      When your "disagreeing" turns into spending tons of money to advocate to deny other basic rights, then, yeah, that IS "hate" in my book.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blog 123

      Well put! By the looks of the comments, the only ones who are professing hatred & bigotry are those who disagree with this company's (or any company's) beliefs. Disagreement does not equal hatred & bigotry.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • tleo

      Ha ha ha, good luck with that. I was leaving posts explaining the law on bail bonds on Faux News and was told to go back to the Huffington Post because the other posters didnt like the law. We cant get intelligent discourse with most of these trolls, but it is nice to know someone else is trying, so thank you.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Douglas

    Never enjoyed the food that much, but will go eat there now. The Bible is clear on the subject, and I wish the president had the same conviction to state the truth as well.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kafir

    This is one of those situations where voting with your wallet is the best course of action.

    I've only eaten at Chick-fil-A once, about 10 years ago. Never again.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dean

    I'm glad C-F-A took this stance and made it public. If people want to support gays, they can go to Dairy Queen.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ChickenOfHate

    Sadly I used to eat at Chik-Fil-A a lot. I stopped as soon as I learned of their intolerance and hate. This would be good timing for a "liberal" oriented chicken chain. Heck, it's a no-brainer since it's a statistical fact that liberal people eat healthier than conservatives.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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