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. belly fat loose

    I've read several just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you place to create any such magnificent informative website.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lee Hart Jr.

    I do not see a problem with what Chick Fil A has done....It is not hatred, it is supporting the Bible and the beliefs of God. Chick Fil A did not say you could not eat there, that is still your choice. This is not hatred, this is supporting God, plain and simple.Have a good now ya hear....

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

      You are allowing what you read in one book to cause discrimination to an entire societal group, shame on you

      July 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gunny

      I am surprised that any reporter would ask such a question to a business CEO about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage. This is media trickery. No one asked the CEO's of McDonalds, Burger King, Sonics, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, etc, etc,. They are asking this CEO because it is a faith based company. Nobody ask the GM of the NFL, NHL, NBA, or the MLB, how they feel about gay marriage. It just seems to be mean and orchestrated. The fact is that this is a good business and serves everybody.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. amadeo122

    The god the owners of chicken filet believe in is the same made up god that protects the rich over the poor, the god that sent chicken filet, bush and their supporters on a war against iraq under false pretenses. The anti gay, the anti immigrants legal and illegal as well, the same god that carries weapons and preaches hatred instead of humility and turn the other cheek, the god that wears gucci and drives camaros, the god that taught them to amass riches and hold on to them as if there was no tomorrow, the god that didn't write that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24)...... their god ha s nothing to do with the one in the bible, actually I have never met one in my entire life that has read the bible, they recite it like parrots but never learned it or understood it. ..... they better pray that the god in the bible does not exist because if he does, they will fry along their Chicken Filets in H ell....

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

      I wish you could spell.....its Chick-fil-A!!!

      July 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. randy McMahon

    If you don't like their stance, don't frequent their business....it's as easy as that........

    July 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Charles

    I find it so amazing that people who spend their entire lives crying out to be tolerated would act with such intolerance towards someone for standing up for what they believe in. It makes me wonder whether this whole issue is really more about tearing down any semblance of Christian values in society than about what people do in their own private lives.

    There are several issues on which I may disagree with some of my Christian brothers and sisters. First, I like to have a beer (or a few) every now and then. I've been to a couple casinos, am a huge Harry Potter fan and a devoted watcher of Real Time with Bill Maher (though he could tone down the anti-religious rhetoric, I have to admit he's dead on with some of it regarding the hypocrisy).

    My students asked me one time if I believed in gay marriage. I told them that as a Christian I didn't, but I also told them I don't judge people for what they do because I've got my own issues that I will have to answer to God for one day, and I would not want my judgment of another to affect the way God will judge me, which is what the Bible says he will do.

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

      It's not the expression of beliefs that's the issue. It's the spending of millions of corporate dollars on political advocacy on issue to deny other people their rights.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlon A. D.

      You find it amazing that people who cry out for tolerance are intolerant of the intolerance they endure. Really, that amazes you? Hmmm

      July 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bryant

    If you don't like it.... don't eat there. It's their company, their right to think how they want to. Personally.... I'm going to get a chicken sandwich at lunch and I could care less what their stance is on the issue.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stp

    WOW.. He Saves cows and cooks chickens!!! BIGOTY!!! Somehow that has to be wrong to.. Get a life people. Amazing..

    July 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. amadeo122

    The god the owners of chicken filet believe in is the same made up god that protects the rich over the poor, the god that sent chicken filet, bush and their supporters on a war against iraq under false pretenses. The anti gay, the anti immigrants legal and illegal as well, the same god that carries weapons and preaches hatred instead of humility and turn the other cheek, the god that wears gucci and drives camaros, the god that taught them to amass riches and hold on to them as if there was no tomorrow, the god that didn't write that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24)...... their god has nothing to do with the one in the bible, actually I have never met one in my entire life that has read the bible, they recite it like parrots but never learned it or understood it. ..... they better pray that the god in the bible does not exist because if he does, they will fry along their Chicken Filets in Hell.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jonescincy

    So does the chicken taste different now? Does it bother Chik-Fil-A that chickens are Mormons? One rooster, many hens.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Since

    Since when does any repuke have morals?

    July 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brian

    Can anyone point to Mr Cathy's statement whereby he says 'He Hates Gays"?

    July 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      It's not in his statement there, but in the millions of dollar his company has spent advocating on denying people their rights.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Harry

    Anyone who thinks its normal for a man to marry another man has lost their mind

    July 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      There's no such thing as "normal"

      July 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Moose5768

    GOD BLESS CHIC-FIL-A and THE BOY SCOUTS which are both awesome, thank you for taking a stance on Christian Values in this country.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tony

    Believe or not GAYS... America is 99.9 percent straight and likes it that way so get over it, you are not special just lost and disgusting.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Tony wrote: "99.9% straight"

      Who told you that?

      Current estimates are between 4 and 6% of the US population.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • C. of S.

      As Tony signals frantically under the men's room stall...

      July 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Key West Yank

      Self-loathing is a difficult thing you poor closet case

      July 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MM

    So when is everyone going to realize that this country is spiraling down into the realm of extremism like that seen in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan...all at the hands of the right wing, Republican, religious conservatives...and we need to call it like we see it...The USA is turning into Iran!!!

    July 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
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