The chicken at Chick-fil-A is delicious. Heavenly. Divine. But it’s not tasty enough to suppress the ire of consumers who are mad as hell about recent statements one of the company’s leaders made about gay marriage.
In an interview published this week with the Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy, son of the franchise’s founder, affirmed his company’s stance against same-sex-marriage.
“Guilty as charged,” he said when asked about his position on the topic. “We are very much supportive of the family—the Biblical definition of the family unit.”
He added: “I think we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
Negative comments are piling up on Twitter and on the company’s Facebook page—along with a number of statements in support of the chicken chain—and it was among the most-searched topics on Google on Thursday. The controversy even inspired a heavily shared article on how to make “Chick-fil-Gay” sandwiches at home.
On Thursday morning, the company issued a statement on Facebook, in which it vowed to leave the debate over same-sex marriage to the political arena. To wit:
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
“Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
“Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Anyone else have a feeling that this statement won’t put an end to the criticism? Maybe the company—particularly its president—should let the chicken do the talking from now on.
PR Daily associate editor Alan Pearcy contributed to this report.