Opinion: Why I’m celebrating Chick-fil-Gay Appreciation Day
July 30th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Editor's Note: Steve McDonagh owns and operates Hearty Restaurant and The Hearty Boys Caterers with his partner, Dan Smith. In addition to winning the first season of Food Network's hit series "Food Network Star," Smith and McDonagh live in Chicago with their son, Nate.

I am not a Dan Cathy basher. I respect Chick-fil-A's Chief Operating Officer for taking an honest stand and putting his business in the line of fire by clarifying the company’s stance on gay marriage.

It takes guts to be responsible for your words. It takes a person of conviction who is willing to bear the repercussions from those who dislike what he has to say. And in a political climate where our politicians are afraid to say anything off-prompter, lest it be twisted and dissected for hidden meaning, the responsible are difficult to find.

I’ve been vocal about my political and social convictions for years. My guess is that Cathy would be surprised at how much he and I have in common.

Like Cathy, my partner’s and my business plan has always been intertwined with our personal lives. The Hearty Boys are Dan and Steve; they can’t be separated. Even our closest friends refer to us as The Hearty Boys, as in "we’re going to The Hearty Boys for dinner because Mike Huckabee didn’t respond to their dinner invitation, so there’s an extra seat."

Like Cathy, we are a family-run business. We cherish the remembered moments of covering our son in a fresh tablecloth when meetings and naptime collided, know the exhaustion of late night pillow talk being business-related, and the pride we felt when Nate first said he wants to someday run the business (be warned, he wants to make it a combo Chinese takeout and veterinary clinic).

Like Cathy, we use the power of our brand to back up our beliefs - and this is where the tricky part of responsibility starts. Unlike the nameless Internet ninjas, what we say not only reflects on us as individuals but onto our businesses. And by “business,” I don't mean just our bottom line but the people who work for us and those that do business with us. How does what Steve McDonagh says reflect on someone who holds a position in The Hearty Boys? How does what Dan Cathy says make his gay and lesbian employees feel? Or gay and lesbian franchise owners? Or gay and lesbian stockholders?

Like Cathy, “we want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families."  But when Dan Cathy says “strengthen families,” he’s excluding my family: Dan, Steve and Nate. He means except Abby, Julie and Carly, or Brad, John, Max and Jack-Jack. We obviously don’t fall under the “families” heading and we must be marginalized.

No longer.

So, when Mike Huckabee called for August 1 to be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, we decided to make August 1 Chick-fil-Gay Appreciation Day at Hearty Restaurant in Chicago. When a guest purchases a fried chicken sandwich with pickles on a toasted buttered bun, the proceeds will go directly to Equality Illinois to help families that some feel don’t deserve strengthening.

And here the similarities completely end. Unlike Cathy, I have no interest in alienating my client base or offending my guests. I run on a business plan of inclusion. A Chick-fil-A statement stressed that the chain is inclusive as well. Its more than 1,600 stores are committed to treating gay and lesbian employees and guests with the same “honor, dignity and respect” that they give everyone else, but my community knows better. There’s no honor, dignity and respect in thanking a client for a purchase and using LGBT dollars to fund programs aimed at destroying our families.

Finally, we stand on different sides of history. Sadly, Dan Cathy is on the wrong side. Cathy can refer to us a “prideful and arrogant,” but I think those words are well-suited to those who sit in judgment and speak for their version of God. Sixty years of civil rights history teach us that basic human rights will always win out. You can’t stop equal rights anymore than you can take back that seat on the bus. This is our new reality. You can’t stop progress, as the man says.

The tide has changed, and the escalating shouts we hear are the cries of the self-righteous who never imagined they’d be the ones fighting the current.

More on Chick-fil-A and religion:

Are you eating at Chick-fil-A on August 1? Share your story with CNN iReport

Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns

Chick-fil-A and free speech

A social media storm over Chick-fil-A

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers defend Chick-fil-A

Ed Helms has beef with Chick-fil-A

Eatocracy: Fast food with a side of faith 

10 religious companies besides Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A controversy sheds light on restaurant's Christian DNA



soundoff (1,614 Responses)
  1. Mark

    And so on it goes, Chckengate continues, wake me when this silliness is over ;)

    August 7, 2012 at 5:16 am |
  2. WillieLove

    We need to focus on the needs of the people not having health care, homes and jobs. the rich getting richer by the day, the house shot down raising taxes on the rich. I don't agree with Obama on certain issues but he is trying to help the middle and poor. Last thing we need is same sex marriage or some issue that should not be a concern. LGBT needs to get right with God and the GOP need to get right with God. Everyone needs to get right with God. Country is sinking because of the morals of America and the direction it's going. Money problems because the Rich want to make more money and GOP is the leading runner of this money situation. Now, there is a few Dems doing the same darn thing! Come on people wake up!!

    August 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  3. liberty

    An organiztion I worked for told me after I'd been there for 9 months that I'd have to accept homosexuality as a valid lifestyle or I could be terminated. I'd just had a great performance review and decent raise. Rather than try to fight it, I just quit. I'm not really digging the g/l community's swakings of outrage

    August 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  4. samantha

    I'm an atheist and bisexual – I support gay marriage and I certainly disagree with the views expressed by Dan Cathy. That is my right as an individual and as an individual I am free to protest if I choose.

    However I am very disturbed by the government thugs in DC, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston that seem to think that it is acceptable to abuse their power to punish Chick Fil-A for having a different opinion than they do. None of us should tolerate this tyranny. These "Mayor's" should be ashamed and every citizen should be alarmed at the arrogance and pompous attitudes of these goons that think that these actions are acceptable.

    Not in my name!!

    August 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Rick

      I agree 100%. Its interesting that someone like Rhom will try to legislate HIS morality. His old Boss feels the same way, that his opinion is all that mattrers and everyone else hould accept it.

      August 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  5. Private Enterprise

    The LGBT community has become too entitled. At some point there has to be acceptance that not everyone has to accept the LGBT lifestyle. This is not to condone discrimination, this is simply to say that there are those of us with a distinct preference for a more traditional set of values and the LGBT community is going to have to accept this.

    August 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  6. GenericMan

    They should just marry themselves without the authority of the government and eventually the government will have to recognize. Government is a symbol of power, and loses authority when it is no longer recognized. Just bypass them and do your own ceremonies and recognize another authority which grants your rights.

    August 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
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  9. Kristen T.

    You are right Steve, you are a lot like Dan Cathy. Just like Dan some of your values and beliefs offend others. How do your conservative employees and customers feel about your stance on gay marriage? There are some people who truly believe that the union between two men or two women is a complete mockery of what God himself intended. The Bottom line is that everyone has an opinion, everyone is different. And quite frankly, Chick fil a doesn't need gay people's money to continue to be succesful. I do not have anything against gay people nordo I have a hate agenda. I just think that we should all learn how to respect the opinons of others. Stop trying to force your lifestyle on people who's values are insteeled in them by a creature who will say yay or nay on Judgement Day. Go home protestors, there is nothing you can do.

    August 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • lory

      I agree with you. I love the headline "throngs" of people go to kiss off. How ridiculous. I would like to see the numbers for Wednesday and the numbers for Friday.

      Just one more thing: If you ask a gay woman to kiss a a straight man she would say that would make her gag. Well, gayness makes me gag. So what....

      August 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
      • Proud to be American

        So maybe the solution is for you not to kiss a gay person. Problem solved. If that Gay person wants to marry another gay person, it's no differnent than two people sharing a flavor of ice cream you don't like, but it doesn't have to ruin your ice cream. However most people who gag the thought of someone else's sexual orientation there is probably some unresolved sexual issue on their own ends. In your case, perhaps it's those recurring Gay lesbian fantasies you just can't shake off that disturb you?

        August 5, 2012 at 3:41 am |
    • Proud to be American

      I am proud to be an American who knows what God intended. He certainly did not intend thousand island dressing for fried chicken sandwiches. Thousand Island dressing is Gay.

      August 5, 2012 at 3:36 am |
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  11. Julian Melancthon

    Cathy is only wrong if you have the morals of a ally cat or a dog in heat in a third world country. Evolution alone begs to differ with the homosexual agenda that cannot reproduce but ideas. You can only reproduce ideas – no natural born children. Sex is a strong motivator. Unnatural sex is even a stronger motivator because those trapped by it will defend their desire above the scientific evidence against it and the theological evidence to destroy it. Look at Sodom and Gomorrah and you will see the extent to which perversion controls every aspect of the prisoners body, soul, and mind. God will forgive them if they are willing to turn. He forgives us all of we are willing to turn.

    August 4, 2012 at 11:35 am |
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  13. Maria Carvalho

    I some questions: Why is it that the only religious freedom that needs protection is the Republcian right wing one? What about the Chistians that love everyone regardless? Why do Huckabee and company want to deny us our freedom? Finally: how and when do they talk to God AND get a response?

    August 4, 2012 at 10:22 am |
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  16. LoveLiveLove

    To all the upset straight folks. You may deny the right to love and marry, all you wish. You may turn your heads at the sight of a same gender kiss. But like it or not gay people have always existed and always will exist. If you choose to hate, refuse to see and continue to hold tight to your bible, your traditions of marriage will destroy family's. You allow us the right to exist but refuse us the right to live. You have allowed your bible, your traditions of marriage to speak hate. You have allowed your opinion to prevent my right to love, to live. You will not make me love someone I do not. You will not prevent me from loving someone I do. I can not expect you to give me the right to love, to live. For it is not yours to give. I have the right to love, to live I gave it to myself. It was mine to give. It will be mine to marry. You will know it, It was never your choice. -LOVE-

    August 4, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • stephen

      sadly you have swallowed the lies perpetuated by this lifestyle. As we look across the landscape of the world We see Gender. Not just females, not just males. That is evidence God created us that way. He gave us his laws that we are to live by. The sexual relationship is exclusive to married male and female relationship. Of course you have the right to live how you want. But GOd reveals the consequences in his word. It is too your wisdom to heed it's warnings. Otherwise the day will come when salvation and forgiveness are no longer possible. Many who live a gay lifesyle are tragically finding out the consequences of their choice when they die, their eternal spirit is plunged into hades, the place of torment and punishment. They cry, and suffer, but no one hears. For them it is too late. God speaks in his word, now is the day of salvation. call out to him while he still may be found. open the bible and read it with an open mind. Allow the lord to speak to you. God can reveal truth and change our hearts.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
      • stephen

        God is a God of mercy and love. He sent Jesus his son to die on a cross to pay the price for yours and my sin. He states " the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus christ the lord". He also states " GOd does not want anyone to perish but all to be saved and come to the truth in Jesus Christ" When GOd created the world he included his laws. Does not he have the right. We owe God everything. we live on his earth, breath his air, Use resources that belong to him. We owe our exsistence to God. I am grateful to be here and desire to honor and obey him. history is changing very soon. THe lord will establish his kingdom on the earth as God foretold centurys ago. I want to be included in that era not against him. "for God so loved the word that he gave his only begotten son that Whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life"

        August 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • lory

      To all the upset straight folks. Im straight and I 'm not upset. You may deny the right to love and marry, all you wish. Yes we can advocate our opinion and vote accordingly. You may turn your heads at the sight of a same gender kiss. I do turn away just as my gay friends don't like seeing straight people kiss. But like it or not gay people have always existed and always will exist. They exist for alot of reasons, somre born taht wayt, some molested as children,,,some choose an alternative lifestyle. If you choose to hate, refuse to see and continue to hold tight to your bible, your traditions of marriage will destroy family's.The gay argument is that I am hater and I am not. I simplly don't agree with your views on this issue. And family is not destroyed but I do know that if put all the gay guys on an island their species would die out because they cann procreate. You allow us the right to exist but refuse us the right to live. No one has ever refused you the right to live. You have allowed your bible, your traditions of marriage to speak hate.The bible does not speak hate. You have allowed your opinion to prevent my right to love, to live. /Go and love someone and live your life. You will not make me love someone I do not. You will not prevent me from loving someone I do. I can not expect you to give me the right to love, to live. For it is not yours to give. I have the right to love, to live I gave it to myself. It was mine to give. It will be mine to marry. You will know it, It was never your choice. -LOVE

      August 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  17. California

    TORRANCE CALIF. CHICK-FIL-A VANDALISED BY HATEFUL GAY ACTIVISTS.

    August 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • No such thing as a double negative from two positive words

      yeah right

      August 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Truth™@No such thing as an informed liberal

        Read on, genius...
        http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Chick-fil-A-Protest-Kiss-Demonstration-Torrance-Vandalism-164878736.html

        August 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • lory

      so no vandalism from the conservatives but can't say so about the gay activist or the bully who drove through the chick fi la and harrassed that poor woman who was trying to do her job. tacky

      August 4, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
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  19. joeinalabama

    Where I Chic Fil a, I think I would go to where most people don't care what the CEO thinks as long as the product and the service is good. I suspect that that is probably 75% of the country. I would withdraw from Chicago and Boston and their PC politicians and never look back.

    August 3, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  20. Proud to be American

    I would like to remind everyone to be vigilant in protecting their bigotry and ignorance at all costs, otherwise the left leaning commie liberal media will take away your guns, freedoms, and raise your taxes as well as destroy your marriages. In fact if a single gay marriage would occur millions of traditional marriages would spontaneously self destruct and Americans would start to play Gay tea-sipping Cricket instead of masculine tobacco chewing baseball.

    August 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • santi47

      Leave cricket out of your rubbish. There is nothing masculine about baseball. It evolved from a woman's game called Rounders

      August 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  21. cowstastegood

    I'm going tomorrow just because I go every Friday. PDA is annoying no matter who's doing it. As long as noone gets in the way of my two chicken sandwiches, large waffle fries and Dr. Pepper there won't be a problem

    August 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • lory

      amen!

      August 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  22. newnews

    I would show up because they gave $5 gift ccertificates away...pretty sure most that showed up for that reason. Incentives will draw. Now if they were giving out cholesteral tests that would probably deter a few. The owner can say anything he wants it's his belief. They don't print in on their boxes, bags or put it on their logo. People will continue to kill themselves with crappy food no matter what you say. If this guy really cared about values how about coming up with a better choice than fried everything. He's killing them softly and getting rich doing it.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Truth™@newnews

      You do know that they serve grilled chicken and salads as well, don't you?

      August 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  23. Brastel

    I think some people miss the point in this controversy. Politicians can have personal opinions and make their own personal choices, such as don't eat the chiken. But the audacity of fools like Mobster Don Rham Emanuel (mayor of Chicago) to act as the Thought-police for its citizenry and ignore law by threatening free enterprise and Freedom of Speech (as does his good buddy President Obama) is what the American people should stand against. These "representatives' should be booted from the political body post haste. This is one of numerous reasons for term limits and voting rights legislation requiring stricter standards. Voting is a privilege, not a right. We don't need another term with King Obama and his serfdom playing the race card, class warfare, and the list goes on...

    August 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  24. Hypatia

    because you are a grease-gobbling xian bigot?

    August 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  25. Jay Bama

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    August 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • JellyBean

      All I heard was static.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Hypatia

      cram it clown

      August 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Proud to be American

      Putting things into caps actually makes it harder to read. It would be an issue if the stuff you wrote wasn't actually drivel.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  26. Mr Kyte.

    I find it funny that many LGBT groups don't want marriage to be called "Gay Marriage" but want to use words like "LGBT dollars"... dollars are dollars. In that respect, ether way you look at it, all companies have the right to support who they want and you have the right to support their views as you did with your restaurant. What you really wan't is Chick-Fil-A to believe what you believe, that's what it boils down to. Your really being a bigot in this case.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Hypatia

      No, chik fil hate wants to deny civil rights to citizens. But you keep drinking your poison Tea and gobbling those greasy chickens and patting yourself on the back. You'll need it when that stroke hits.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • Fernando

        I have yet to see ANYONE give one example of Chick-Fil-A firing someone because of their orientation, or denying service or anything for that matter. MR Kyte is correct, the issue here is that the gay ciommunity is going after the restaurants because they have the odacity of not agreeing with them....well boo hoo hoo. Freedom of speach is allowing others to say thing you do not like. Government should not get involved in what is essentially a consumer issue. Deal with it

        August 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Fernando

        I have yet to see ANYONE give one example of Chick-Fil-A firing someone because of their orientation, or denying service or anything for that matter. MR Kyte is correct, the issue here is that the gay community is going after the restaurants because they have the odacity of not agreeing with them....well boo hoo hoo. Freedom of speach is allowing others to say things you do not like. Government should not get involved in what is essentially a consumer issue. Deal with it

        August 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • Greg

        What civil right does CFA want to take away? Adults already have the right to marry and that right is not under fire. Adults just don't have the right to marry a person of the same sex, that would be special consideration not a right. So again, what civil right is CFA trying to take away?

        August 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  27. ARE you SERIOUS..

    @Tara C. you are right

    August 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  28. ARE you SERIOUS..

    maybe gays are gay because they cant get a girl.. lol jk

    August 2, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  29. Tara C.

    I'm an atheist, liberal, pro-gay-rights woman, but I believe Chik-Fil-A has a right to its opinion without having the wrath of a nation heaped upon it. It's clear that, in valuing diversity, we are not allowed to have diverse opinions without bullies acting as mindless drones spewing the same type of hate they pretend to combat. CFA is a freaking restaurant chain. If you want change, go protest the politicians that aren't acting to establish gay rights. Also, the picture you posted is clearly a deliberate attempt to make CFA food seem wilted and unappealing. The food is obviously not from Chik-Fil-A, and that little bit of attempted manipulation is just tacky.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Andre

      You are correct Tara; however I absolutely disagree with Dan Cathy, and I will not be returning to his restaurant chain (not that I ate there all that often before this). It is up to the consumer to deal with this matter; we don't need to condemn the man for his opinion, but I believe that since he decided to make his personal stance the stance of his business, he does have the right to be judged by the consumer. There's no point in protesting such a philosophy; simply don't eat there.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • omar

      you lost me at atheist being that anyone who says in their hearts that there is no God is by definition a fool. I don;t listen to fools.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

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      August 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  30. athiest

    I wonder how many ChiKKK fil A employees are g-ay, or even g-ay married.

    ChiKKK fil A is in good company, the first amendment allows hate groups like the KKK to have a discriminatory "opinion" too.

    Good work trashy CNN journalist, The KKK is just "standing up for what it believes in" too.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  31. nibiru

    so now we should only say that we support gays,no other way???are we still a free country ??

    August 2, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • hnm3246

      Perhaps we should just support each other as human beings, period.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  32. SoWhat

    Gay people are people too and they are citizens and need the same protection under the SECULAR law! These conservative Bible thumpers are in the wrong and growing in the minority. The Nation is moving towards greater freedom for Gays and can't be stopped. Bigoted religion should stay out of it, besides Jesus said to love god and treat others well. He never said a thing about gays or even abortion!

    August 2, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • readingexchange

      I was only in fourth grade when I realized that I was attracted to men and, at the time, I thought it was just a sexual problem. But as I began to explore the roots of my homosexuality I discovered that my sexual attractions were actually the result of an emotional need. When I reached adolescence my body started telling me I wanted sex from a man, but in my heart I knew it wasn't really about sex. Even before adolescence I didn't fantasize about sex. My fantasy was that a man would just wrap his arms around me, look me in the eye, and tell me that I meant something to him.
      That's what I was Missing.

      It wasn't a desire for sex, it was a desire for genuine love and affirmation from someone of my own gender. In fact, the most healing experience I've had since realizing that I didn't have to be gay was meeting a man named Lenny Carluzzi who walked away from homosexuality 28 years ago.

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      Many of the men that I counsel are desperate for this kind of healthy male intimacy. They will not share their homosexual struggle with the men in their church because they fear rejection. These men dream of being held in the arms of another man and hearing the words "I love you." Indeed, some them will literally cry into the phone when I tell them that I love them because they have never heard these words from another man before. One man put it well when he said, "As a gay man, I've found it's easier for me to get sex on the streets than to get a hug in church."

      If you're not sure how to hug someone who is struggling with homosexuality, just open your arms. If they need your touch, they'll walk right in. Allowing someone who has struggled with homosexuality to get close to you is the greatest gift you can give them. Whether this takes the form of touch, talk, or even something as cliché as going to a movie, learn their love language, and then speak it!

      By Chad W. Thompson (Author of Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would)
      http://lovinghomosexuals.com/gay-pride-meets-christian-humility.html

      August 2, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Cojak

      Well gays have to try so hard to change nature! Man and Woman! That is how we are born that is how it should be..I am tired of all the gays whining about equal rights.....last time I checked Gays still can have great jobs, drive nice cars, work wherever they want and pay the same taxes as everyoen else! Stop bitching

      August 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Cojak

      Oh and the Bible (word of God) mentions that it is an abomination several times. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Jshel

      SoWhat,

      I'm so sorry for you.. you don't know what the bible says because it obvious you dont' read it.. so please know your facts of the Bible before you say anything! Not once did Don Cathy say he Hated gay's, nor did he say God hated gay's. Its not about you being gay, its about sin, Every on has it. Sin is Sin... Being Gay is just one of many sins... I love Gays, Jesus loves Gays. Its the SIN that God cannot accept. Just like there is some Sin in my life, the difference is, I have to ask for Forgiveness everyday, and for the people who sin and don't and for forgiveness, are the ones that are lost. I don't have a problem with Gays.. I'm just sad for their souls.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • omar

      I'm pretty sure abortion falls under Thou Shal Not Kill.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  33. Brian Thetford

    I have to point out, that the writer here has done exactly what Cathy did. The author has openly stated his beliefs in a forum that many people will read. So that does beg the question, will the LGBT community now come out in full support of his company? Will the news run his quote at 5 o'clock, and make a huge deal out of it, will the extreme right wing come out and blast him for professing his support for gay marriage? Will city leaders, and politicians rail against him, and his company, for making such a statement? No. that is what makes the Chic Fil a story so over the top. The people who work for that company are well aware of the values of the company they work for, just as this man's employees are quite aware of his values. If this man were to franchise out his company, the people who opened stores would be well aware of his viewpoints, and beliefs, just as the people who opened Chic fil a stores were and are aware. All this story really shows is how un-responsible the media, the politicians, and the city leaders have been when one person states a belief they do not agree with. The tolerant have been shown to be anything but tolerant, and that is for both sides. And quiet honestly, both sides lose on this one.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Chaz

      I wonder if a bunch of hetros will show up and start making out at their resturant??

      August 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  34. Honesty

    The more you try to push your agenda of acceptance on people via courts and media stunts, the less legitimate your concerns seem. When your idea of marriage is that you watch tv together and then go find some other man to have sex with because you're bored with your partner, or he has AIDS and doesn't want you to get infected, or you're his dominate and want to humiliate him again by showing him you don't value him sexually, or, in short, you don't recognize that marriage implies monogamy, and then have the audacity to question how it threatens traditional marriage, people stop listening to you.

    For all the vote and attention-seeking these politicians are doing, they would do well to remember this. Gay people make up less than 10% of the population, no matter how vocal they are. Those of us who you've now shown you would violate our first amendment rights by using the power of government to control, hide, or change our opinions, otherwise we won't be allowed to run businesses, or be employed, etc have now seen the truth of your heart.

    You support totalitarianism over freedom. It isn't gay marriage and rights you support, it's restricting the rights of free citizens to contribute their ideas, even the ones you don't support, to the discussion. It's the tool of those who would hide the truth rather than free it, and we can no longer trust you.

    Resign from your offices in shame. There's nothing wrong with not supporting Chik-fil-a with your money, but there is something wrong with restricting building permits based on the free speach of one man, no matter who that man is to a company, especially when there's absolutely nothing illegal about that speach, and the debate over the 'rightness' of the issue is far from over.

    You are the villian in this story.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  35. Lisa

    Funny, because I saw that CFA's consumer rating went down 41% this past week.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  36. Byteme

    As a gay man, I exercise my power to protest by not giving a person or business my money. I may disagree with Dan Cathy's stance on the GLBT community and marriage equality, but I respect his right to have his opinion, just as I want others to respect my right to have my opinion even though they don't agree with me.
    The bottom line is that if you're a GLBT person as I am, you can make the choice to patronize Chik-Fil-A or not. I choose NOT to. There are many GLBT owned and operated business in my area that I patronize.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • ARE you SERIOUS..

      you're gay .. you probably have aids.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:25 am |
      • SoWhat

        AIDS is not a gay disease. You can get it from your girlfriend too.

        August 2, 2012 at 11:11 am |
        • meh

          If his hand had AIDS the rest of him would too.

          August 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • CJM2CA

        ARE you Serious – Too bad your mother didn't flush you when she had the miscarriage.

        August 2, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • GoodForYou

      Thank you. Believe that there are many straight people who share your feelings on this. If you had a restaurant in my area, and you had the best chicken, I would eat there. And I would support your right to state your opinion whether I agree with it or not. That is the American way.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  37. jeff richards

    Jules.. to imply that one cannot conduct commerce based on ones views.. and to even go as far as to take action on that stance is a violation constitutional rights. Secondly, to attack the way you lefties have attacked those of faith, is an attack on religious liberty. The fact is Dan Cathy said that he believed in the traditional since of the word for marriage.. as does 90% of the world.. The media and gay rights activists put words in his mouth to get you little lemmings all riled up. The first thing you do is start attacking people of faith calling them intolerant bigots when nothing could be farther from the truth.. Bottom line here Jules, is that the disgusting acts by gay rights activists is far more intolerant and bigoted than anything Chick-Fil-A has done. Fact.. Chick-Fil-A only expressed their views, but did not discriminate and treated everyone exactly the same.. I mean really, you can't tell a gay person from a straight person anyone.. I do not approve of homosexuality, and my gay friends know this.. But I don't look at them as though they were gay.. I look at them as people.. but now, I wonder, thanks to you and intolerant bigoted j@ck@$$'s like yourself, I have to wonder if they too harbor hateful nasty feelings towards me.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  38. tnfreethinker

    If you support Chick-fil-a, you support discrimination. If you don't realize this, you need to step out of your bubble. It's is protecting you from intelligence.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • jeff richards

      Here's some intelligence for ya.. There is no discrimination.. the 14th Amendment guarantees everyone their individual rights equally. You have the same individual rights as I do. We both have the right to decide we wish to be gay or not to be gay. The marriage issue is a states rights issue and we all have limits on who we can marry. I cannot have 5 wives and I cannot marry my mom, your 5 yr old niece or another man. Neither can you.. and in that way, the laws apply equally to everyone.. and therefore, there is no discrimination. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman as do millions of others.. including Muslims, Hindu's and other religions around the world.. Christians are the only ones stepping up to defend that view. That view has been the same view since the dawn of civilization. It is none of my business if you want to be gay, but you make it my business when you want to redefine marriage.. Notice, I never said I anything about civil unions, because gay people are going to be around. I don't approve of nor will I celebrate anyone's desire to be gay. You will never get my approval even if so called "Hate crime" legislation is introduced. Either way, that would be violating my religious liberty.. Christians for the most part, and Chick-Fil-A have done nothing to discriminate against gays.. But plenty has been done to attack them. However, the powers that be would have you believe we hate gays and so on..not true.. Secondly, Chick-Fil-A did not differentiate between gays and straights. They served everyone exactly the same regardless of views. I have several gay friends and co-workers.. they know exactly where I stand and they don't call me names and they don't go around attacking me for my beliefs. I mean what are you going to do? Start protesting at churches now? You going to start having Christians locked up or fined because of their beliefs? Sounds an awful lot like persecution to me.. As far as I can tell, you and your kind are the intolerant bigots..and most of you are just sheep jumping on the bandwagon.. let me tell you this.. I as a Christian will never back down, even to the point of death.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • Proud to be American

        I'm a heterosexual Christian, but you Jeff, are something bigger than I am – you are also an arrogant ignoramus. That perfect blend of arrogance and stupidity that makes us Americans feared by the rest of the world. You are also dangerous. So you believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, but instead of limiting your views to your own marriage, you feel the entitlement to force your view down the throats of others. So to arrogance and ignorance, add coerciveness to your list of redeeming qualities. "I have several Gay" – speaks volumes about your condescension towards these friends of yours, who like pet dogs might earn your affection but never your full respect. For the record, the remarks by Dan Cathy were completely inappropriate for someone running a business. I happen to despise bigots but I wouldn't turn them away by speaking out against them. For time immemorial people like you have discriminated against minorities in various categories – be it sexual preference, skin color, gender in the workplace. You sir, are what America has had to overcome to get to where it is. You are the Joker of Gotham City – that unpleasant arrogant bigot who opposes anything that does not confirm to his petty definition of the universe. You really make me sick.

        August 2, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        If you don't realize that supporting a ban on same sex marriage is discrimination, you seriously need to educate yourself. Marriage was a ritual long before man invented god.

        August 2, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        BTW, you are no friend to anyone in the LGBT community. You support discrimination and aren't even intelligent enough to know it.

        August 2, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  39. Justom Beeeeeber

    "Finally, we stand on different sides of history. Sadly, Dan Cathy is on the wrong side."

    that depends on the historian. do we take into account the oldest, longest-lived history? [China] or do we take into account archaeological history [Darwin, natch]?

    its my view of said hisotry that no civilization that was in support of pro-same-sex culture has thrived. ever. i can name a few history that have died, though. i guess reference to Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim and Bela as referenced in the Bible, Torah and the Quran do not count as historical reference, right? they are just scary folk tales meant to instill a ridiculous sense of fear into population for the sake of control. i guess i could site Rome as having failed to support a secular [oppulent] culture that was gay-inclusive.

    sadly, pro-gay-rights supports are typically revisionistic in their view of noting any true 'history'.

    ask yourself. what happens when China takes over as the global power. do you plan to protest the other 25% of the manufactured goods in the world due to their [communists's] stance on gay-rights?

    yeh, i thought not. the fact is that those whom are perpetuating genetic diversity through heterosexual procreation, have perpetuated ALL of history since the dawn of man. anything else is support of a fantasy world where everyone is happy-go-lucky; free to do whatever they want with whomever they want, all the time. forever.

    there is no consequence for trying to be happy, right?

    personally i cant wait till China takes over as a global power, if only to destroy these illusions.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  40. tnfreethinker

    If you support Chick-fil-a, you support discrimination. PERIOD. No way to argue your point.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • readingexchange

      I was only in fourth grade when I realized that I was attracted to men and, at the time, I thought it was just a sexual problem. But as I began to explore the roots of my homosexuality I discovered that my sexual attractions were actually the result of an emotional need. When I reached adolescence my body started telling me I wanted sex from a man, but in my heart I knew it wasn't really about sex. Even before adolescence I didn't fantasize about sex. My fantasy was that a man would just wrap his arms around me, look me in the eye, and tell me that I meant something to him.
      That's what I was Missing.

      It wasn't a desire for sex, it was a desire for genuine love and affirmation from someone of my own gender. In fact, the most healing experience I've had since realizing that I didn't have to be gay was meeting a man named Lenny Carluzzi who walked away from homosexuality 28 years ago.

      When I first met Lenny at an Italian restaurant in Chicago, he instantly wrapped his arms around me, looked me in the eye, and told me that he loved me. That moment was the beginning of my healing process and, since then, God has put dozens of men in my life to provide the non-sexual love and affirmation that I need in order to heal the wounds of my past and grow into heterosexuality. These relationships have meant the world to me. They nurture my soul. Like a light in an underground tunnel, they provide a path of escape from the prison of disconnection and abandonment. It's a prison that I still remember, although the memory fades a little more each time one of these guys opens his arms, and I walk right in.

      Many of the men that I counsel are desperate for this kind of healthy male intimacy. They will not share their homosexual struggle with the men in their church because they fear rejection. These men dream of being held in the arms of another man and hearing the words "I love you." Indeed, some them will literally cry into the phone when I tell them that I love them because they have never heard these words from another man before. One man put it well when he said, "As a gay man, I've found it's easier for me to get sex on the streets than to get a hug in church."

      If you're not sure how to hug someone who is struggling with homosexuality, just open your arms. If they need your touch, they'll walk right in. Allowing someone who has struggled with homosexuality to get close to you is the greatest gift you can give them.

      By Chad W. Thompson (Author of Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would)
      http://lovinghomosexuals.com/gay-pride-meets-christian-humility.html

      August 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        "In fact, the most healing experience I’ve had since realizing that I didn’t have to be gay..."

        No you don't. You can lie to yourself and be miserable or you can accept who you are and be ok with it. I'm sorry you had a poor relationship with the men in your life, but that is not the case for most gay men.

        August 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  41. tnfreethinker

    Typical uninformed Texan.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • tnfreethinker

      Not one word of any of your posts is true. Like I said, typical uninformed Texan. Democrats will win in November. If you bigots want to start another civil war, you will lose again.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  42. Carey Morgan

    Thoughtful and intelligent comment in the op-ed.... some crazies in the comments. My thoughts: http://careyonlovely.blogspot.com/2012/08/bbq-chicken-sans-marriage-politics.html#

    August 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  43. jules

    who violated his right to free speech? no one. he can say whatever his bigoted brain wants to say. we have the right to not support him or that fantasy religion.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • dabumba

      Isn't it a right to speak your opinion publicly and not have the government censor you by threatening to shut down your business? How would you feel if the mayor refused the Hearty Boys from being a business because they are LGBT? If Chick-Fil-A is so out of touch with Chicago values, let the residents decide, not the government.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • jules

        the government has not censored Chikfila. there were some mayors that jumped on this issue, and said they didnt want them in their cities. However, they have no legal right to actually do that, and admitted that. until there is actually an example of what you describe happening, you are wrong. those mayors were speaking their mind as mr. cathy was. the coin has two sides sir.

        August 2, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  44. Lizabeth

    Just one of the morons here with something so say. If you want to get into another war 3rd to be in progress, , then Mitt is your man. Halliburtion is hurting for more ways to rip the USA off. Obama may not be perfect same with Nancy but he has tried to dig out from under the mess the Bushes left us in so give him some credit. With all the opposiiton from the Grand Old Piece of you know what it is no wonder that he could get very little accomplished. Talk about Morons, Is Romney the best that the Republicans can offer this nation? Sad Lessor of the two evils – Obama

    August 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • mkd1580

      How do you know how much Chaney's rip-off company Haliburton paid in taxes you hunyuck

      August 2, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • alansmithee88

      Pretty sure Reagan dealt with double-digit unemployment during his first term, so your point about Obama having the largest unemployment rate in US history is already wrong. But, hey, that was all Carter's fault, right?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  45. M Beall

    Somebody please stop the planet.....I want off....

    August 2, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Daniel

      Yeah me too....we just missed the bus to Mars...

      August 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  46. gleasse

    marriage is a religious rite and if you are not religious you have no business being married, plain and simple.

    There needs to be equal marriage rights for religious and atheists. Civil unions need to have equal rights, I will not be involved in the religious bigotry that is marriage and I think gays who want to use the religious rite of marriage as some kind of a "sticking" it to these people are complete morons of the highest order.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • sam stone

      marriage is a civil right, as stated by the supreme court in loving vs. virginia (1967)

      August 2, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Brad

      @gleasse, ignorance is bliss isn't it? Get an education about marriage before talking. It's a civil legal arrangement in the United States, not religious.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Lizabeth

      Should ANYONE really care who someone else sleeps with? Is it anyone else business? Just as with abortion – my body – my decision so take care of your life and body and stay out of mine. I am female and like males but if you don't think the same I don't care. These people protesting need to volunteer at a clinic or food kitchen or better yet find a job.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
      • Justin Beeeeeber

        do whatever you want with your body. just dont use my tax money to support it. im not willing to fund personal freedoms.

        August 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  47. brian

    this is great publicity for the restaurant and now other crappy restaurants want to jump on the wagon. I never even think of Chick-Fil-A unless I read that they won't hire blacks or hate gays.

    August 2, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • robc

      I heard that many Chick Fil A employees across the country organized a 'spit in customer's food' day yesterday, which is gross, but funny at the same time. If it's true, then there will be a lot of unhappy people when they find out. :P

      August 2, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • Harold

        That is an absolute LIE. Nice try to stop people from going to CF.

        August 2, 2012 at 9:28 am |
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