(KATV) The President of Chick-Fil-Ais speaking out for the first time since his controversial remarks about gaymarriage.
You'll recall, Dan Cathycame under fire after saying he believe in the biblical definition of marriage betweena man and a woman. Though, Cathy said he loves and respects anyone whodisagrees. In an interview over theweekend, he said his company has always been clear about its support fortraditional families. "Families are very important to our country, they're veryimportant, I think, to all of us who are concerned about being able to hang onto the heritage that we have. We support Biblical families, and we've alwaysbeen a part of that."
Critics of Cathy's earliercomment accused Chick-Fil-A of discrimination. The fast food giant says it doesnot discriminate against anyone.
Previous Story July 27,2012:
Arkansas Group Encourages Participationin Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day(KATV,Source, Family Council) On Friday, Family Council President Jerry Cox thankedformer Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's decision to spearhead a nationwideChick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which will take place all day Wednesday, August1.
"Iwant to thank my friend, Governor Huckabee, for using his influence to amassnational support for Chick-fil-A,"Cox said. "They have been viciouslyattacked simply because their President and COO, Dan Cathy, publicly reaffirmedhis company's Christian principles. We are encouraging Arkansans to eat at thenearest Chick-fil-A on
August1stto show support for this great American company. We are alsoasking folks to write a note of appreciation to Chick-fil-A atFamilyCouncil.org. Every note that we collect will be delivered to eachrestaurant in Arkansas and to the corporate office in Atlanta. These simpleactions will show Chick-fil-A that they are appreciated.
Inthe end, we hope that their strong stand for Christian values will encourageother businesses to do the same.
"TheFamily Council staff will be having lunch at one of the Chick-fil-A locationsin Little Rock on August 1st,"Cox said. "We are proud to support thiscompany and also help local business at the same time."
GovernorHuckabee issued a statement, saying, "When I heard of the vicious hatespeech and economic bullying being directed toward the Cathy family and theirChick-Fil-A company, it was stunning. In the name of 'tolerance' a group wasexercising extreme intolerance and trying to censor a citizen by threateninghis business. When mayors of major cities like Boston and Chicago actually wenton the record to say they would stop a business from opening in their citybecause they didn't agree with the fact that the CEO of the company supportedBiblical marriage, it was time to take a stand. I'm thrilled that the FamilyCouncil is expressing affirmation for the rights of citizens to be free ofbeing bullied by illegal government threats."
Coxsaid he really does not see why Mr. Cathy's position should be treated ascontroversially as it has been. "In 2004,more than seventy-percent ofArkansas voters affirmed the traditional definition of marriage when theypassed the Arkansas Marriage Amendment. Some forty states, including Illinois,have laws and amendments to that same effect.
Mr.Cathy is not the one who is outside the mainstream on this issue. Those tryingto censor him are. All we want to do, between allowing people to write toChick-fil-A via our website and promoting Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, is givepeople a way to reiterate that support."
TheAtlanta-based company's questionable contributions have been reported and thesubject of a number of high-profile protests.
Thisyear, Equality Matters published a newly-released analysis of Chick-fil-A'scharitable work that found that the fast food chain donated nearly $2 millionto anti-gay groups over the course of 2010.
Amongthose to reportedly receive donations through Chick-fil-A's WinShape Foundationwere the Marriage & Family Foundation ($1,188,380), Exodus International($1,000) and the Family Research Council (also $1,000).
There are now social media pages and websitesabout boycotting the chain.