Since the story broke Tuesday quoting Chick-fil-A president/COO Dan Cathy admitting he was "guilty as charged" in reference to the company's financial support for organizations considered anti gay, the chain's Facebook page has become what one fan described as "a war zone."
Less than 20 percent of all posts updated on the Facebook page this week have been about the company's products, promotions and day-to-day business. The site has been mired in a debate about politics, religion and everything in-between, with a majority threatening to boycott the company for Cathy's comments.
Chick-fil-A was silent on the topic until this morning, when the company responded with the following statement:
"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."
The statement generated more than 25,000 reactions (likes or comments) in less than an hour. The response has been as divisive as the initial comments about the issue, from "Too little too late" to "We support Chick-fil-A even more now."
Read more about social media conversations.