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. Hangtownie

    If you can't handle the answer, Don't ask the question. Sombody asked his opinon and he gave it. I respect the fact that he didn't say somthing he did not believe even though it might be unpopular with some people.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pamela

    I am straight, have a gay child and support gay marriage/rights and will also defend mr. Cathy's right to state his belief, even though I don't agree. However, if mr. Cathy carries over this belief to include refusing to hire gays or any other form of discrimination against gays, I would do everything in my power to fight him.

    July 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric Roberts

      Which he does via supporting anti-gay organizations and support of this pray away the gay crap that is harmful and dangerous.

      July 21, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Truett Cathy has never discriminated. In fact, many gay and lesbian people work for his company. Many gay and lesbian people are a part of and supported by his camp programs for kids. This is not about discrimination – this is about a man's right to state his/her beliefs.

      July 21, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Snow

    Having a view is completely different from acting on that said view. Mr. C is enti.tled to have any number of ideas on moral stand points.. But I can bet any amount of money to say that he do not have the stones to act on those or enforce those moral views on his patrons. if he begins to act on them by, say, baning gays service in his place.. or not allowing divorced/remarried folks in, he knows as well as us that his business would go bust.

    So, whats the point of having high morals but no gnads to follow upor act out on them?

    July 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sue

    I love Chik-fil-A. I'm always bummed that they are closed on Sunday, but super respect why they do it! I won't stop eating there because they have different views than me on gay marriage. This is still America right? I expect people to have different views. This is what makes life interesting. I respect that they stand for something!

    July 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sheila

    Are these comments being screened? I did a post this morning that never showed up.

    July 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Church Of The Poisoned Mind

      You most likely used a word or a combination of letters that did not make it past the computer filters. It happens.

      July 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael david

      who are we to judge? we have no right to judge anyone for their beliefs. straight or gay. i agree with mr. cathy. i believe in marriage between a man and woman. i will never accept gay marriage. but they have the right to chose. God gave them that right and i accept it. anyone who tramples on the rights of others is a hypocrite. accept mr. cathys right to his opinion. he has that RIGHT!

      July 21, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Amused

    Do they check their chickens to make sure that none of them are gay?...

    July 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lynne

    if gay marriage stops one sandusky and priest abuse, if no gun control stops crime , columbines, and dark knights
    so be it

    July 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AGoodChristian

    I fully support Mr. Cathy's opinions regarding gay marriage. However, until he comes out against divorce, I will not be eating at any of his restaurants. He is like the Laodiceans, lukewarm in his beliefs. Until Chik-Fil-A and its leadership fully adopt the tenants of Biblical marriage, a permanent, unbreakable union in which a man and woman unite and become one flesh in God's eyes, I will forever spit out their chicken. Also women today need to be submissive to their husbands as God intended. I notice a lot of them are getting uppity in the comments here. You certainly didn't learn that kind of behavior from God's book.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I suggest you don't know anything about mr. cathy – as he has ALWAYS spoken his values, lived them and continues to do so..including his opposition to divorce.

      July 21, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pam

    After all the businesses that are trying to push gay marriage, what a refreshing change when someone of influence stands up for what is right. Our country was founded on Christian principles and what a shame how far we've wandered from that. I'm tired of people saying that not supporting the gay agenda means we're "intolerant and unloving". Somehow the media has convinced a lot of Americans that there are no absolute truths. But the Bible says different. Thank you Mr. Cathey for boldly claiming the Truth...

    July 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      the bible also says you should stone unruly children outside the city gates. Your 'absolute truths' are absurd. And you certainly don't own marriage, as its been around long before christ, and was not created as a religious idea.

      July 21, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • pete

      I don't care what the bible has to say about anything, so I would I have to live by what it says?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat (in a hat)©

    test

    July 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat)©

    I think this is a totall ridiculous stand on many peoples parts. How many of you just swore by how that was best chicken sandwich ever. I sure do. Now just because the man has beliefs that you don't go along with, you're going to cut off your nose to spite your face. That's alright by me. It just means the lines won't be as long to wait in.
    But all in all, you people need to get a grip. This man has opinion just like the rest of you do.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hamsta

    Most people are to scared to do the work we do, we don't have a problem with gays claiming discrimination. Just male them climb that jacob ladder once swinging 80 feet over a barge in the mississippi and some of the manliest straight men climb right back up and find another job.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Altee11

    Unless we think ourselves equal to God, no one can know what God thinks or has ever thought.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Roywarner

    It's not just Chik's stance on Gay marriage that's bigoted. You don't get hired there if you aren't xstian & like minded. I've never been a fan of the place, but will certainly shop & eat elsewhere, as always. The need to educate people about what's pc, what's not, what's bigotry, what's not, is growing rapidly. Add food into the mix & watch everyone say things like, "But I love their food." Supplying bad for you food for the mass (I do mean MASS) enables people to "get their fix" just like you would from any drug dealer. Here it's the fav place of 400 lbs people on hover rounds to eat. Ever check out how many calories are in one of their shakes? MY GODS PEOPLE! Bring your insulin! When any business, let alone restaurant touts "holier than thou" behavior, you need to stop defending them. I can't believe how many posts are just that........Why would anyone want to eat at a bigot pig trough, with fat bigots? We'll pass. Kudos tho for being closed on Sunday. Just one more day we don't have to see their bigotry. Lord, save me from your followers.

    July 21, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Once again, the liberals in Boston show that they are all for free speech; as long as you agree with them. The best course of action would be to allow the restaurant to open which would in turn, offer the citizens of Boston a chance to voice their views by choosing whether or not they patronize the establishment. However, this idea runs contrary to the basic liberal belief that they are superior to conservatives and that their "enlightened" views should be forced on everyone. Tell the mayor not to worry; even if the restaurant is built I won't be eating there. The hypocrisy of liberals has soured my stomach.

    July 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
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