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. ChildofGod

    Dan Cathy I back you 100%, stand up for what is right no matter what. Freedom of Speech and God is the one that created marriage not people!! God bless you my bro

    July 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jimmy99

    This has turned into a war, its sad. The man did not say he hates or even dislikes gays. He stands for what he beliefs in, and I respect that. And nazism, blacks have nothing to do with it, those subjects are worlds apart.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gale Parsons

    I too applaud Chick-Fil-A for taking a firm stand on what they believe. They did not say anything against anyone, they only stated what they believed according to God's word. The bashing of Chick-Fil-A should not be a surprise to any Christian, because God said that as we stand for Him that the world would hate us. Also, we should not be surprised about how strongly the gay community and all of their supporters are responding, because according to Romans Chapter 1, the Bible said that this would happen in the last days. Particularly about men laying with men and women with women. Chick-fil-a, remain strong in your stand. You will be persecuted but God has got your back. Don't even worry about making politically correct statements. That is the problem: this is not a political issue only. We as Christians also have a responsibility to minister the truth. We fail man kind when we fail to do so.

    July 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • roger

      AMEN & AMEN

      July 29, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • N Vogel

      You said it so much better than I did. Hooray for your comments!!!

      July 29, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • crashingwaves

      Very well said, Gale. I rarely eat at Chick-Fil_A but I do love their meals. Funny, people get bashed if their opinion doesn't fit a select few. What ever happened to freedom of speech? now a days, if you don't agree, your bashed for it.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      > the Bible said that this would happen in the last days

      Stuff the Bible said would happen "in the last days" has been happening for the last couple thousand years.

      July 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Technically correct. He did not say anything derogatory about gays – he simply implied that they were not fit to marry. He also pays millions of dollars to see to it that others say derogatory things about them for him.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. N Vogel

    I can't believe people are so stupid. It is the man's opinion. It is his belief. It is NOT a policy stated at the businesses. As far as I'm concerned, the hate mongers are ALL the people who are bashing CFA. I have never been a fan of CFA. But these slime balls are making me want to go and buy something just to support them in the face of the hate being poured on CFA. People!!! Get a grip and come back to reality!! You don't like it – fine, then don't eat there. But don't go trying to force your perceived injustice on every CFA. And why would anyone ever want to be in Boston? Who said Brotherly Love? From what I've read, seems more like Brotherly Hate of Do It My Way or Get Out. That is NOT America!! That is a dictatorship... remember those? Not good for people with brains. Wait a minute, that's right, these hate filled people are missing that item. GOOD LUCK CFA!!!!!

    July 29, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tony

    Im gonna make a point to eat at CFA twice a week.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. America

    I'll be there on aug 3 and 2 to 3 times a week after that.

    July 30, 2012 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. Maynard

    Eat more chikin !!!!!

    July 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sharon

    Good for you, Chick-Fil-A. It was good to know, some people still see it God's way.Stand firm. God will bless you.

    July 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don( from kenya)

      in Christ alone do we stand, In Christ alone has Dan stood. thanks Sharon for that reassurance to him,

      August 1, 2012 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Los

    Im getting chik fila for lunh tomorrow...:)

    July 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gloria

    As a Chicagoland resident for almost 60 years, I am terribly sad to see that not all Chicagoland residents are equally represented by our local leaders; leaders who are showing themselves to be quite discriminating. I've never dined at a Chick-fil-A as I wasn't aware of this establishment. However, I now look forward to joining my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on August 1st for what I hear, a great chicken sandwich. God bless you Mr. Cathy!

    July 31, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • EaglesQuestions

      Aug 1? Oh no! Is it Chick-fil-Day or something?
      Cr@p. Now I have to find one by tomorrow!

      July 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Andi

    I agree totally with N Vogel. I have never eaten at CFA but I sure will now. This has always been a country founded on Christian values. Anyone who doesn't like it is free to move. Don't try to change the USA

    July 31, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. justhinkn

    i love chick fil a, will continue to spend my hard earned money there, thank god for chick fil a..see you august 1 chick fil a

    July 31, 2012 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brittany

    I get it, freedom of speech and all that, but if Chick-Fil-A said they were anti-black or Jewish the entire American public would be all over him like white on rice. Besides nobody has the right to say whether or not two people, same gender or not, have the right to get get married. That whole thing about marriage being between a man and woman is a religious belief, separation of church and state anyone?

    July 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Roberta

    May God Bless this company even more.

    July 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Winch41

    I ABSOLUTELY and WHOLE HEARTEDLY agree with the man, and have decided to support CFA at every opportunity! The man was RESPONDING to a question! He did not go out and call a press conference so he could share his beliefs! The liberal left, and the gay community are all about tolerance-UNLESS you disagree with them!!! Then there is NO room for tolerance! THAT is bigotry!!!

    August 1, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
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