- (Photo: Chick-fil-A)
Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, one of America's biggest fast-food chains, criticized the Supreme Court's decisions on gay marriage in a Twitter message, which was later removed.
"Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies," Cathy is said to have posted on Wednesday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cathy, who has spoken out about his support for traditional marriage before, later removed the tweet. The fast food company explained that this was done so that online users don't confuse Cathy's personal views with the company's stance.
"Dan recognizes his views do not necessarily represent the views of all Chick-fil-A customers, restaurant owners and employees, so he removed the tweet to eliminate any confusion," the company said.
The U.S. Supreme Court voted in favor of gay marriage in two landmark cases on Wednesday. It chose to strike down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing married gay couples the same federal benefits as married heterosexual couples.
Later, the court also ruled against efforts to oppose a lower court's decision to overturn Proposition 8, a California amendment that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The ruling now clears the way for same-sex couples to get married in the state.
Chick-fil-A found itself embroiled in the gay marriage debate last July when Cathy spoke out in defense of the traditional definition of marriage, which caused some LGBT groups to stage protests against the restaurant.
"Guilty as charged," Cathy told the Biblical Recorder, a paper for North Carolina Baptists. "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."
In another interview, Cathy said on The Ken Coleman Show: "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.'"
The comments led to gay rights activists calling for a boycott, but many Christian leaders, such as pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, asked congregations to show their support for Cathy and the restaurant.
"This is not about bashing gays. That is not what this is about. This is about Americans and Christians standing up and saying 'enough is enough,'" Jeffress said in a sermon.
Chick-fil-A, which has more than 1,600 locations throughout the country, tried to pull itself out of the policy debate as it affirmed that its culture and tradition is to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
Earlier this year, prominent LGBT activist Shane L. Windmeyer revealed that he and Cathy had formed a friendship despite their opposing views on same-sex marriage.
"It is not often that people with deeply held and completely opposing viewpoints actually risk sitting down and listening to one another. We see this failure to listen and learn in our government, in our communities and in our own families. Dan Cathy and I would, together, try to do better than each of us had experienced before," Windmeyer said of the several conversations the two held as their friendship developed.