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. BD

    In the history of the planet, no one has ever been right when they were on the wrong side of freedom. The hate mongers and biggots will get whats coming to them.

    They can believe what they want in the meantime, history won't be as kind however.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ?

    We don't have one, but people seem to like Chik Filet. Their stance will harm them though.

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

      No it won't.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DoUntoOthers

    i love how the supports of chick fil a keep talking about the rights of the store to do business how they wish... how is that different then letting people do their business how they wish and stay out of their lives ...marriage. or is it only okay to leave things alone that you agree with.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • kt@the beach

      And how EXACTLY has stating his opinion interfered with your life?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. myke

    I'll say it...I prefer brunettes over blondes! Oh no, I'm a hater!! Didn't you hear my hate!! I'll work on myself so I no longer have personal opinions or preferences.

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

      Now you just need to spend millions of dollars advocating for preventing blondes their right to marry and you'll be just like Chik-Fil-A!

      July 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • KKDenver

      So you don't think blondes should have the right to marry? What's wrong with people like you?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Of course blondes should not be allowed to marry. They should be forced to dance for my enjoyment while I throw crumpled up dollar bills at them from over the bar. Not THAT's stimulating the economy!

      July 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • C. of S.

      No – you can have whatever preference you want. Start spending millions advocating the denial of civil rights to blonds and you become a hater. Simple as that.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mickey1313

    The day I learned that this was a radical mormon company, I made the ethical choice never to eat at one again.

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

      wow. good for you.

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

      Its not a 'Radical Mormon' company you idiot. They aren't Mormon.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Because gay marriage is something you believe in, but killing another creature, dipping them in batter, and frying them up (with a pickle!) is A-Ok by you. My... aren't you the ethical one.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Who Cares

    Who actually cares what executives at Chick-fil-A believe or stand for?? It's white noise.

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

      When they're spending millions of $ on those beliefs? Yeah, that's something to care about.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • j

      It's more than white noise. They donate millions of dollars each year to organizations that make it a point to spread their hate and lies to influence government, politics and individuals.

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

      @D: right.. because only people who agree with your point of view should have any say.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gina Davis

    I am a christian & I also happen to have many friends in the gay community. I don't have to like or agree to everything espoused by other christians just as I don't have to like or agree to everything my friends (who happen to be gay) believe. It seems that there are a lot of angry people replying to these posts. Chik-Fil-A is a privately run business, and they have the right to run their business as they see fit. Those who disagree have the right not to eat there if they choose. The name-calling I see on these posts are just as intolerant as some of the beliefs stated on here. Can't we just agree to disagree?

    July 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Margaret

    There are Chic fil A stores going up all over the South. We love them here, and of course respect the values that they have. You know how we are down here, and if we could all of us southerners would just form our own little country, away from you tree huggers, hippies and druggies. We would be better off and so would you.

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

      No, Marge, the rest of us would be the ones who are better off. Your country (let's just call it the "Confederate States of America", for the sake of argument) would resemble a THIRD WORLD DUMP within 20-30 years. 5% of people wealthy living in gated communities, 95% living in shacks/trailers, just like Mexico. It's pretty close to that now.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • KKDenver

      Yeah, you tried that once...... losers

      July 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Amen, @Margaret. America sadly has become two societies, and the secular progressive socialists are intolerant of any departure from their ideology. They expand their power and badger any different opinions into submission. Stay strong.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      @WILL: HAHAHAHAHA!!! You just described California to a "T". Way to make your point. Have fun paying for a train no one will ride.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • janine

      Do you really think there arent any GLBT "Southeners"?? Or that none of them use drugs?? WOW.... i lived in the south for 22 years and saw so many more lesbians there then I do here in California. Also I do recall lots of those "southeners" blowing up their trailers while making their drugs. So lady, trust me its everywhere. God loves all his children even the GLBT ones. But the idea of you all going to your own little country, those that think your way..I am ALL for that.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • samuraikatana1

      Sorry to burst your bubble Maragaret but there are plenty of people in the south who disagree with you, myself being one of them. You DO NOT speak for all southerners.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steve

    the bible is full of multiple wives, slavery, stoning children, etc. etc. Do people actually read the bible? Oh yes.. and they find convenient ways to ignore the bronze-age philosophy while espousing the things that justify their hatred...

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

    I don't understand why people are using the word hate. These are biblical beliefs he believes in. Just because most of society has decided they wanted to bend the word of God to fit their own way of life, doesn't mean everyone else has to follow along. For me, this is how radical Islam got started. Same concept, different views. I will continue to eat Chick Fil A and will continue to support a ban on gay marriage!

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

      "I don't understand why people are using the word hate."
      "I will [...] continue to support a ban on gay marriage!"

      That right there.

      It is not necessarily hateful to not agree with marriage equality. That's just your personal opinion, like how you don't agree with a different religion.

      It is hateful to call for a ban on marriage equality, the same way it would be hateful to call for a ban on a different religion.

      THAT is what we're protesting against, not these strawman laden posts about how 'THEY'RE JUST STATING THEIR VIEWS WHY ARE YOU SO HATEFUL?!?!?1"

      July 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. john

    people are such idiots and weenies. they never said anything hateful. only that they believe in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. you libnuts just beg to be offended. LOL

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

      You might want to do some research before popping off next time. This company has spent millions on advocating against the rights of some people. You, sir, FAIL.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • C. of S.

      This has been pointed out to most of these "They're just stating their beliefs" posters, but there's no rebuttal. They seem to be graduates of the FOX/Palin/Bachman Repeat Lies Often Enough and They Magically Become True school.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ChickenOfHate

    Good luck Chit-Fil-A with your new clientele. They'll eat your healthy chicken for about a week before they're back on the Fat Burger wagon.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WILLY

    Chick-fil-a is not a government or a non profit agency. I know people want to control what they say or believe but they do not have that right. We don't need any thought control. In America we still get to decide for ourselves what is right or wrong. At least for now.

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

      To wish to deny a law abiding segment of the American population their civil rights is Un American and a good reason to boycott if ever there was one.

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

      Correction: We don't need NO thought control

      July 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Norm

    That's it!! From now on I'm only going to eat at souless corporate restaurants who only care about profits.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Vicki

    We are so bombarded by Hollywood and the media to accept concepts that are contrary to scripture...I'm thrilled to see this family standing for Christian values..May God richly bless you!

    July 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm | 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