Fast food chain defends 'biblical families'
Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy has spoken of his company's devotion to "biblical families".
"Families are very important to our country," Cathy told 11 Alive, an NBC affiliate in Atlanta. "And they're very important to those of us who are concerned about being able to hang on to our heritage.
"We support Biblical families, and they've always been a part of that."
Cathy's comments, which were made Saturday while speaking to 11 Alive at an event on his family's ranch in Georgia, were published on Wednesday.
In July, gay activists encouraged people to boycott Chick-Fil-A after Cathy voiced his support for the biblical view of marriage in several interviews, including one with Biblical Recorder, a paper for North Carolina Baptists.
"Guilty as charged," Cathy told the paper. "We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
Dan Cathy, son of Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, made similar comments when he appeared on The Ken Coleman Show in July.
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'" said Cathy.
To counter the boycott, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee organised a grassroots event Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day that urged people to come eat at the fast-food chain on 1 August to "affirm a business that operates on Christian principles". The event, which had a massive turnout nationwide, was endorsed by several evangelical leaders, including Billy Graham and Jim Daly of Focus on the Family. Huckabee reported that many stores had historic sales and sold out of its chicken food products.
Last month, Cathy talked to Huckabee on Fox News to clarify reports that it revised its charitable donation policy to exclude "anti-gay" groups.
"There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago," Cathy told Huckabee. "That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been."