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. amadeo122

    I can wait till Chicken Filet tells us their stance on Latinos and blacks so they can boycott the b@st@rds also.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    This is a great example of the intolerance of "tolerance".

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

      Oh yes, standing up against a company that spends millions of dollars on political advocacy to deny some people their rights is "intolerant". LOL

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

      That's really stupid why should people ignore and encourage discrimination

      July 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. l in nyc

    i agree that he can voice his opinion, even if it is a close-minded one. and if we are really going by "what the bible says", pretty sure gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins... so in his opinion it's ok to stuff your face with unhealthy, fried food, but not be free to be gay (something a gay person can't even decide for themselves anyway). i really can't wait until this subject is a thing of the past and everyone gets over their self-righteous beliefs that everything needs to abide by some book that was written 1000s of years ago by a bunch of random people.

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

      Or until AIDS does gays in. Or we can abort gay babies.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • jesse32

      Acyually the 7 deadly sins were created by the catholic church and have been changed as well 🙂 read the bible there is no one sin greater than another 🙂

      July 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Smiley

      As opposed to the unabashedly biased restrictions placed on everyone by the gay community? Come on. Everyone has the right to his or her own beliefs. The firm didn't bash you, it simply stated its own beliefs. If you can't show some tolerance, then you are the problem, not them.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joshua Rodriguez

    The bottom line is that people don't want to admit the being gay is a choice. They are not born this way and yet they want to force their beliefs on everyone else. Just because a person does not believe gays are born this way does not make them a hate monger.

    Now that a business is standing for what they believe is causing people to be in an uproar. I applaud them for this. You have every right not to have a meal there. Go else where.

    One day every knee will bow to Jesus Christ. He is not a hate monger. There is not one perfect person. We all have faults. One day we will have to answer for every action that we have done and every word that we have said. The difference between a true believer and a lost person is that Jesus has forgiven the believer. Then the Holy Spirit will be present in your life and tell you what is wrong and what is right. Being gay is wrong because the Bible says it is wrong and the Bible in the perfect word from God. Jesus Christ is God. There are other false Gods, but jesus Christ is the only true living God.

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

      You're an idiot

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

      Amen Joshua, that is the truth but others will always use excuses to put forth their hate because of their believes. It will never end unless we all open our eyes to the truth.

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

      Where does the Bible say that being gay is wrong? And if it's wrong, why did the church conduct gay weddings for hundreds, if not thousands, of years?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikeM

      It has nothing to do with your God, or Jesus, or whatever. Gays have severe mental problems. Otherwise why would they do what they do. You Christians say that gays should be loved. That's a bunch of BS.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • joejeffrey

      You clearly know neither human beings nor Jesus Christ. Instead, you know your cardboard-cutout versions, and are very proud of what you know. If you knew anything about how actual human beings are, you'd know that people do NOT have a choice about being gay. Being gay is not like choosing chocolate or vanilla, or Ford vs. Toyota. And, my sanctimonious friend, many many people who are devout Christians are gay. On the other hand, while being gay is not a choice, what passages in the Bible you pay attention to and use as your guideposts for living ARE a choice. You, sadly, have chosen the passages showing bigotry and hatred. Why, I wonder, do you so publicly proclaim your Christianity but so completely ignore what Christ taught?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geroge Manuella

      So, Joshua, you're saying that with the right motivation you could choose to enjoy making love to a man? I mean...it is a freewill choice, right? SO you admit some part of you could find men attractive if you chose it....strange argument to stand behind.

      For me, there is no choice. Women or nothing. Literally that way since about age 5 when a cut girl at school held my hand on a bus and I nearly passed out...my heart almost exploded from my chest. That was no choice.

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

      I'm not gay but I have many close friends that are and I'm sick of this argument, people don't choose to be gay. Get to know a gay person rather than being an armchair theologian. Jesus preached tolerance/acceptance and he must be sadden by the amount of ignorance/fear of people that look, sound, act different than you. If he came down to earth right now he'd give everybody a big hug and start performing gay marriages.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      your mom is a god...in bed

      July 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. hyperboleman

    A piece of fried chicken on a plain bun with two pickles. I must admit I felt a little jipped the first time I got one of those. Their chicken salad sandwiches are amazing though, and fresh lemonade. It's one thing for the dude to have his own opinion. If Mr. Cathy is using the profits for political influence to harm someone else's rights, that's another thing entirely. Did that happen? If so, I won't be eating there again.

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

      Yes, their profits are being used for political campaigns and advocacy. Millions of dollars so far.

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

      And I'll go buy the food just to support them.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TC

    There go the liberals again,when someone acknowledges his/her believes,whether it be religion or other,they use that excuse to put forth their hate because they are ignorant. God has given us ALL the freedom to choose right or wrong, HE does NOT impose anything on us except to live a good life, otherwise we all will pay for our sins dearly.Your conscience will dictate what you are and what you will become in the end.

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

      Oh yes, many conservatives were SO tolerant of President Obama's personal opinions about gay marriage.

      More selective damnation.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. girl4usa

    Righteous indigestion.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Question

    Hey Chick-fil-a staff, what if some of your children turns out to be gay?

    Your own kids are going to hate you. HATE PROMOTES HATE!

    July 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Amy

    Wonder if Chick fil A believes in all aspects of the bible. Or do they pick and choice what they believe in.. So if they are standing on the bible.. Wonder if they believe man raping his wife., beating their children, or going back to the slaves.. You can't have it both ways.

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

      the operative phrase is...i wonder. everything you say after that just rolls out of the sphincter on your face. LOL

      July 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tom

    He should have said instead "I hereby ask that all reasonable, peace-loving non-bigotted people stop patronizing my crappy establishments!"

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

      hey at least you'll still be invited, eh?
      you lefties are sooooo tolerant of other people's opinions. LOL

      July 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sofakingwhat

    Seriously, who evens pays attention to who marries who. If you're life is so boring you have nothing better to do other than worry about gay marriage . You should get a hobby.

    That goes for gays and straights.....

    July 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DWALT

    LBGT wants everyone to tolerate them but they don't want to tolerate others

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

      That is because they are a bunch of hate filled hypocrites.

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

      That is absolutely the way they feel.. And I for one am getting sick of it..

      July 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Oh yes, how "intolerant" of them to not tolerate your belief (and actions) that they shouldn't have rights that are equal to yours! ON NOEZ!

      July 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. john

    lol...one of the brainless libnuts wrote that they engage in "bigoted company practices". LOL
    So simply stating a position is putting forth some sort of practice? No. LOL. they will still serve you if you're gay. How dumb are the lefties? LOLOLOL

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

      They're not just "simply stating a position", dipstick. They're spending millions of corporate dollars on political advocacy.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LRJnVA

    I love Chik-fil-a's food but why would a owner of a fast food restaurant weigh in on this issue. A good businessperson wants to do business with everyone regardless of thier personal beliefs. This was just a poor business decision and they will lose business for it. Honestly I couldn't care less about what the owner of the company thinks but the fact that they would pick this battle when it has nothing to do with thier core business of providing fast food means they won't get mine $. I expect my money to go toward better chicken or employee benefits, not social issues.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mary

    Good for them..~!
    There are those of us that love the concept of the traditional family..The one we used to enjoy.. A biological mother and father in the home.. Aunt and uncles and cousins we are really related to.. Shareing the same Grandparents and family blood lines..
    I am sorry if that offends the gays who want to live their lives contrary to that..
    But da... it~!! Other people have a right to carry on traditions..
    A right to want a huge wonderful family who all can get together and actually ' feel ' connected. Because they ARE~!
    This is a '" life style" too .
    The way that other people "feel"...
    I think its time Gays ' RESPECT THAT'~!

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

      Mary, why are you so upset about how other people live their lives? No one has challenged your right to live your way, or your belief in traditional marriage. Gays totally respect the way you feel. They just don't want to be forbidden, by the State, from living in matrimony with the person they love. Their family will be unlike yours on some ways, but it doesn't in ANY way harm or take anything away from your, traditional, marriage. Gays are not offended by your beliefs; they just have different ones. How come you, on the other hand, are offended by theirs?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • C. of S.

      You're more than welcome to have that family you so lovingly describe. More power to you. What you're not welcome to do is demand that everyone have it. Why is this concept so hard for some people? You don't want to marry a woman, Mary? Don't worry, no one will ask you to.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
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