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. mary

    I will be traveling a half hour out of NY state just to get some chick-fil-a tomorrow. Keep up the amazing work Dan Cathy!!! We're all rooting for you 🙂

    July 25, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. hier

    Its such as you learn my mind! You seem to understand so much approximately this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you can do with a few percent to force the message house a little bit, however other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. jim

    WAY TO GO, they employ a lot of Gay students who need the MONEY!! Thanks to the boycott happy Morons, these students will have LESS money now!! WAY TO GO you IDIOTS!!

    July 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Since 1635

      Totally agree, these mayors are stepping into dangerous territory. Just about every Chick-fil-A that I have been to is ALWAYS busy, meaning they generate a pretty big impact on the local economy. I have a feeling folks are going to be voting for the other guy come election time.

      We all have opinions, but as US Citizens we have the RIGHT to those opinions.

      July 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. George

    Never ate there, don't ever plan to.
    Dan Cathy can say what he wants and believe in it to, but don't complain when you air your evangelical christian religious views (but not Jesus views) and there are other who express there views about yours and the loss of business to your company.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lobito724

    I used to work at Chick-Fil-A in my college days. I still consider my Chick-Fil-A co-workers as second family and have continued great friendships with many of them. That includes straight and gay alike. Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate against anyone. Dan Cathy is permitted to have his own beliefs and opinions, as we are permitted to have our own. Go back and read the interview. It was not a hate filled speech by Cathy. He was stating what he believed in, plain and simple. Just because someone personally doesn't agree with living a gay lifestyle doesn't mean they are a bigot or a hateful person. Whatever happened to we can agree to disagree and move on with it!

    July 26, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bee

    Many times as Christians, we hide our beliefs instead of speaking up so we don't "offend" anyone. Mr. Cathy here, answered a question that was posed to him....no hate, no bigotry, just plain stating his beliefs and I am so thankful that someone out there forgot about offending anyone and chose not to offend God!
    I hope I can be as brave as he is.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kami

    These are human rights issues, not just political views, so local governments have every right to enforce businesses to uphold corporate social responsibility.
    The fact is that these are not just personal opinions of the CEO, but the chain actually donated company money to anti-gay groups.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Innocent bystander

      Some how it's only a "Human rights" issue when it comes down on the side you don't agree with!! That's crazy!! It was an opinion, nothing more. I'm sure if some one announced that they were Pro-Gay marriage and that their organization supported their stance you'd boycott them too!!

      July 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jlynne

    Last time I checked this is America and we have freedom of speech. If you want to hate on someone because they have a strong conviction based on the Bible and the principles this country was founded on that is your right. Funny thing though, the animals seem to understand without a problem that male and female join together, the more intelligent human has to rebel against natural instincts and pervert things.

    July 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gale

      Awesome analogy! Confirms the natural course of how God created things to be.

      July 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tstorm92

    Chick Fil A may be owned by a hateful discriminatory businessman so don't eat there!I don't! I won't spend my money where my dollars are used to promote hate and intolerance. Now you see all the conservative leaders falling in line behind Chick Fil A and that should send a chilling message that int his country conservative = intolerance. There's no place for that in America.

    July 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. John R.

    Their restaurant locations are franchises, each one owned and operated by a a local person in the community, who in turn is employing about 100 workers. The views of the president of the chain are not reflected in how the stores are operated and certainly not most of the owners of those stores. Many of their locations are owned by gay franchisees. Any boycott is only hurting your friends, neighbors and your community in general. Those who are promoting this heterophobic atmosphere are un-American.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeffrey S.

    It is not about his words, it is about his actions. It is the millions of dollars he donated to anti-gay groups. The words...we can take.

    July 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Shaw

      Where is your evidence or are you just spouting off at the mouth?

      July 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tim Shaw

    Where were all the intolerant liberals when it was Obama saying he believed in marriage between one man and one woman? Why did you decide to vote for him after he said the exact same thing? Everyone of you that said they will boycott ChikFila's is nothing more than a hate filled hypoctrie yourselves!

    July 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mich ani

    I think the cause of death was listed as "karma."

    July 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bob A.

    Unless I missed more of his interview comments, I didn't detect any hate for gay people in Mr. Cathy's remarks. He simply stated his long-held beliefs about marriage. We are a nation of diverse beliefs, but we are a great nation because we allow freedom of speech and should affirm that even when we disagree.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pete

    Liberals want to silence EVERYONE who disagrees with them, They expect us all to march in lockstep with them like good little comrades. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
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