UPDATE (KYTX) -- The Chick-fil-A franchise has released a statement in response to the controversy created by recent comments from its President Dan Cathy.
On Facebook, it reads in part:
"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."
The statement may have hoped to quiet the storm, but it's not stopping people from sharing their thoughts.
Cody Savell and his daughter ate at Chick-fil-A today, not by coincidence. "When Cathy came out in support of traditional marriage, I'm 100% behind what they believe," Savell said.
He says as a devout Christian and follower of the Bible, he's proud of the company president for being outspoken. "Stating what they believe, even though it goes against what is popular today in the world," Savell said.
But some gay rights advocates are jumping on board with a national boycott. "They don't want to go where they are not wanted, they don't want to go and support somebody who hates them, and we're dealing with outright hate toward an individual population," John Miller, with Tyler Area Gays, said.
Miller doesn't believe it will stop the movement to legalize gay marriage. "The company is just a small little pebble in the world," he said.
There are more than 1600 Chick-fil-A's nationwide.
(CNN) - The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that.
But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.
"Guilty as charged," Cathy said when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.
"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," Cathy is quoted as saying.
Strong feelings of support and disagreement have followed, making Chick-fil-A the top Google trend on Thursday morning as the company's Facebook and Twitter pages were burning up with arguments.
"Hate mongers! Never again! Not another $ from me," Duke Richards wrote on Facebook.
"Goodbye Chick-fil-a! your food was delicious, but I can no longer eat nuggets filled with hate!" read a post by Blake Brown.
"I am truly ashamed of the recent admittance from Mr Cathy about your bigoted company practices. I hate the fact that my money was used for this. I will never support your company (and) will make sure anyone I know does not either," Mikell Kirbis wrote on Facebook. "While I'm not a Christian I know that hate is not in God's plan nor (is) ignorantly picking sections of the Bible to brandish. Good bye and I hope either you change your ways or close down."
But the support for the company was just as vehement.
"Just wanted to say I'm proud that you stand firm in your beliefs. You knew the risks, and still took the plunge. May God bless this company with abundance. Never back down!" said a Facebook post from David Jones.
"Thank you for standing up for what you believe. The truth is not hate. It's just the truth," wrote Sharon R Boyd.
"I love the values that this restaurant stands for and will support it every dang chance I get! Pay no attention to the morons spewing hate!" read a post from Raymond Joy.
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