Chick-fil-A CEO: I still oppose gay ‘marriage’ but won’t be too vocal about it
ATLANTA, GA, March 20, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After two years of battering by homosexual activists and the mainstream media over his opposition to same-sex “marriage,” Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy says he remains committed to the Christian definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but has decided not to be vocal about it.
“I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God’s word and I’m just personally committed to that,” Cathy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I know others feel very different from that and I respect their opinion and I hope that they would be respectful of mine.”
Cathy, 61, set off a firestorm of controversy in 2012 with remarks to a Baptist publication in which he said he was “guilty as charged” for supporting the traditional family.
“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy told the Baptist Press. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
Gay activists reacted with outrage to the statement, and when it was revealed that Chick-fil-A had made charitable donations to organizations that defend true marriage, they organized boycotts and protests. At the height of the media circus, at least two Democratic mayors even called for Chick-fil-A to be banned from their cities completely.
In the midst of the controversy, however – despite the anger of Cathy’s critics – the restaurant chain enjoyed one of the most profitable days in its history as regular Americans flocked to local franchises in droves for a grassroots-mounted “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” celebrating Cathy’s strong stand in support of marriage.
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But even that support couldn’t overcome the negative pressure from pro-homosexual forces, and the company caved, withdrawing much of its financial support for most pro-family groups and assuring the public that it would focus on chicken, not activism from then on, so as not to alienate those customers who support the gay agenda.
“Probably the elements that were stressful for me most is from our internal staff and from operators and how this may be affecting them,” Cathy told the AJC. “The bottom line is we have a responsibility here to keep the whole of the organization in mind and it has to take precedence over the personal expression and opinion on social issues.”
“Consumers want to do business with brands that they can interface with, that they can relate with,” added Cathy. “And it’s probably very wise from our standpoint to make sure that we present our brand in a compelling way that the consumer can relate to.”
It remains to be seen whether Cathy’s strategy of silence will pay off. Gay activist groups and their allies are still keeping the company under a microscope looking for evidence of “anti-gay” activities. And some liberal communities are still working to keep Chick-fil-A out of their neighborhoods. But Cathy’s willingness to stand by his beliefs in even a limited way stands in marked contrast to most of corporate America, which has largely capitulated to homosexual activists’ demands for public support.