Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based fast-food chain known for its chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and Christian evangelism, has once again positioned itself at the center of America’s gay marriage debate, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
On Wednesday, the company’s president, Dan Cathy, sent out a tweet criticizing the Supreme Court’s rulings, which extended federal recognition to same-sex marriages and paved the way for the return of gay marriage in California.
“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 wrote. His post was later deleted, but not before the Atlanta-Journal Constitution obtained a screenshot of it.
The company issued a statement on Thursday saying the tweet reflected Cathy’s personal views and not necessarily those of all Chick-fil-A customers and employees. The company added that it is “focused on providing great-tasting food and genuine hospitality to everyone.”
This wasn’t the first time that Cathy has publicly come out against same-sex marriage. In July 2012, the Chick-fil-A president and COO told the Baptist Press that he was “guilty as charged” in his opposition, saying that he and his company were “very much supportive of the family unit—the biblical definition of the family unit.”
During the same week, Cathy also appeared on a radio show, on which he said same-sex marriage was “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
He added, “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about."
Cathy, the son of Chick-fil-A’s founder and chairman, Truett Cathy, has a history of grabbing headlines for his unapologetic brand of social conservatism. In February 2012, students at Boston’s Northeastern University protested a proposal to put a Chick-fil-A on their campus and the school abandoned its plans.
Later that year, Boston Mayor Tom Menino sent Cathy a letter, urging him to “back out” of his plans to open new locations in Boston because of his views on same-sex marriage. The letter was published online soon afterward.
According to ABC News, Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Foundation donated $3.2 million to advocacy groups that oppose same-sex marriage between 2008 and 2010. The company has since agreed to stop funding anti-gay groups.