Overheard on CNN.com: Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage
How do you feel about Chick-fil-A and its president's views on same-sex marriage? Share your comments below.
July 19th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"Guilty as charged" was the response from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage. There was a social-media uproar about Cathy's statements, but many of CNN.com's readers expressed support for his right to say and believe what he wants.

Chick-fil-A's stance on same-sex marriage causing a social storm

Omekongo Dibinga, an iReporter from Washington, was one of those voices. He says the Chick-fil-A exec "did nothing wrong."

"We shouldn't be surprised that an organization that sticks to its Christian principles would have issues with gay marriage," Dibinga says, adding, "We can't get into this mentality of thinking that everybody who is against gay marriage is homophobic in some way, shape or form."

A lot of our readers had similar things to say.

Dan: "I'm gay. I don't care. If I ceased buying products from companies that did things I didn't like, then I'd be Amish. I don't make political choices when I eat out (though, for the record, I actually don't like CFA's food or any fast food for that matter). I go out to eat to fill my belly."

But a few readers were not happy with Chick-fil-A.

Joe Brown: "How backward and ignorant ... how sad. No more Chick-fil-A for me. I am not in the stone-casting business as a Christian."

Norm: "I knew they were like this and I shouldn't have been eating there before. Now this just gives me the extra boost to avoid them completely."

Others said they loved the restaurant even more after this news.

Bobington: "I am going to go eat at Chick-fil-A tonight."

Greg Tanner: "Chick-fil-A! Yay! My love for this company and their products has just tripled. I've always loved their chicken. I was always bummed yet respected them for closing on Sundays. Even though I'm a foxhole Christian and don't practice any particular religion, I do wholly believe that marriage is between a man and woman. I also love the Boy Scouts. Stand up for what you believe!"

Many defended Cathy's right to say what he said.

Steveds: "Someone asked him his opinion. What, is he locked into only chicken-related discussion because he runs a chicken place? That's (absurd). Agree with his opinion or don't, but let's leave the defenseless (and delicious) chicken out of this! Will anyone please think of the chicken?"

Another reader was sympathetic.

Jon: "Mr. C. is not trying to force you to do anything. He is merely stating his moral standards in public, standards which you refuse to accept. That is not hate. That is not discrimination. That is intolerance, but it's intolerance of evil behavior, and that's laudable. If you are offended by that, then that's your fault. Admit it and stop spewing hate."

For a lot of our readers, the issue is not so black and white.

i821776: "You can look at this both ways. Chick-fil-A has a right to be anti-marriage equality, and we as customers have a right to no longer go there and give them our money, whether you support the decision or you don't. Chick-fil-A has a right to 'run their business their way,' and we as customers have a right to choose how we look at/complain about how they run their business (that is how the economy works, after all ...). I agree that labeling Chick-fil-A as a 'hate group' is going a bit too far considering (it isn't) going around causing bodily harm or mental harassment. That being said, I disagree with the CEO's choice of supporting biblical marriage over equality for everyone and may have second thoughts if ever deciding to eat there again."

The following commenter even admires Cathy despite disagreeing with him.

James PDX: "I am very proud of people who stand firm in their beliefs despite harsh criticism from others. It's just a shame that Dan Cathy's beliefs are stupid."

There are other ways of looking at marriage, too, according to some commenters.

Karen: "Also, as a divorced and remarried individual, should I be upset? Uh ... no."

A company can believe what it wants, says another reader.

Roy: "The one thing I can't stand in this country is when a privately held company exercises its right to free speech! What is America coming to? Next thing you know, they'll be demanding freedom of religion and freedom of the press! Where are our founding fathers, like Stalin, when you need them?!

One reader wants to vote with his wallet.

Jeff: "He has a right to his beliefs and I have a right to take my money elsewhere, which I will."

Many readers said that tolerance has to work both ways.

ck: "Mr. Cathy is just politely stating his religious beliefs. I don't recall him gay-bashing or making any hateful remarks. Remember, what is in the heart of a man comes out of his mouth."

What's your take? Do you eat at Chick-fil-A, and will you continue to do so? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Fireball Run

    Right, Wrong, or Indifferent, you have to admire his conviction. Last year he supported a rally for missing children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAaRY8leZyQ

    July 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      And Sandusky supported homeless children. What's your point?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    Chick Fil A can eat ME.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      ...they sell chicken not fish

      July 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      What a disgusting exuse for a human!
      Do you think that's funny?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      she-eees the one tellin everybody to eat her...

      July 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Church Of The Poisoned Mind

      Do you gargle with massengil, Rascal Rabble? You should.

      July 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Name*Toni

    Mr. Cathy may have shared his opinion, but at the same time, just lost alot of business. I don't like CFA's food and if I did, it would be over now.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Juan

    Chick-Fil-A's Rocks!

    July 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    The "Media uproar IS just that, The Media sees dollars signs NOT an issue for real dialog.
    I would not be silenced either for the true of Gods word.
    Well done Mr. Cathy

    July 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John

    Mr.cathy, like all other people, is also protected by the First Amendment which cuts both ways. He too can express his opinions and beliefs without the scorn from anyone else of any persuation. For those who insist on "political correctness" remenber that others have that right too. Give the man the respect you demand for your self or keep your peace. I had lunch there today and it was a treat.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Sorry, but freedom of speech does NOT take away anyone else's freedom of speech or right to scorn speech they don't agree with. Most speech may be free, but don't speak if you can't take the heat.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Diane

    Folks can keep on bashing at Chick-Fil-A all they want. The end result is going to be more free advertising for them. I thank you because I love their food and agree with their right to make their statement on marriage. They have a right to state their opinions, just like the Dixie Chixs did about President Bush and folks have the right to take their money else where. Would you bashers be happy if they lied about it or would you still be unhappy and calling them hypocrites?

    July 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bigfoot

    I have only Eaten CFA once, But I Believe I will add it to My List of Fast Food Places I Eat @. Oh, It would be the ONLY Fast Food Place I Eat @. What's WRONG for Taking a Stand for Ones' Beliefs? Seems these Days Everyone is Pandering to the LGBT Movements. TRUE Marriage is between a MAN & A WOMAN. I have NEVER tried to FORCE MY OPINIONS on ANYONE..........Oh, There I go Expressing MY OPINIONS AGAIN. (NOT A DISLIKE, OR HATERED) Way to Go Mr. C. Some Politicians could LEARN a Little Something Here About Morals.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      TRUE marriage is also between people of the same race, but respect and tolerance for something that doesn't hurt anyone else seems to have overcome that commandment. Here's hoping all people have the right to marry the person they love and want to spend their lives with! LOVE makes a family.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      VERY well said, Greg, and I agree 100%!!

      July 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      same race???

      July 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Yes, same race.
      Surely you remember when it was against the law in some states for a black person to marry a white person.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      sorry banasy...im not as old as you...

      July 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Church Of The Poisoned Mind

      Rascal Rabble, they only repealed the last law in 1967. If you are younger than that, it explains a lot of your juvenile behavior here.

      July 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    Are you all from Texas? Yes he has the right to say what he wants! So do the people he offends. Damn, read what you're writing.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      No, I'm not from Texas, but what, precisely, would that mean if I were?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Karen

    Way to go Mr. Cathy!!!! I admire you for standing up for your beliefs. I'll eat at your restaurants for the same reason I don't shop at JC Penny's anymore. I would prefer that corporations focus on selling their merchandise and not become part of the political arena, but once they do, I have to decide where to spend my money accordingly.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And you don't shop Penney's why...?
      Because Ellen was a spokesperson?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. raven

    What is this? Fake dialog? whether or not the media is involved people will have an opinion. You expressed yours. Or were you pandering to someone that youre trying to impress?

    July 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rascal Rabble


    July 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rascal Rabble

    ...there is no such thing as gay marriage!

    July 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. raven

    And you, yourself are just an amalgamation of someone elses opinions. Usually in judgment of others. Very Christian of you.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      ...it is what it is: a ceremony of sodomy or a ceremony of gomorrah

      July 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Why in the heck should you CARE who some else marries?!

      July 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rob

    I'll never understand why Rethuglican, conservative, right-wing, religious fanatics think they can force other normal people to accept their deviant views and lifestyle. They love to tell other people how to live their lives, while their own lives are in shambles. The Christian (esp. Catholic, Mormon, Evangelical, and Southern Baptist) Taliban in this country are going to face a violent wake up call soon if they keep trying to spread their hatred, intolerant views, and intolerant actions on normal Americans. And it is patently unfair that gays and their loved ones should be devastated by discriminatory actions, while the bigots and their families go about enjoying their lives as if nothing is wrong. It's time to start making bigots pay for the discriminatory actions they take. When they have to pay a price, they might start to rethink their actions. I would urge anyone reading this to take WHATEVER ACTIONS POSSIBLE to harm Chick-Fil-A personnel or property, Dan Cathy, other members of the Cathy family, or their loved ones, to make them pay for the harm they are doing to the people they discriminate against.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      you do know threatning online is against the law there rob?

      August 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
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