In a move to take itself out of a summer storm of controversy over gay marriage, the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain will no longer financially support anti-gay causes, according to a statement issued today
by LGBT advocacy group The Civil Rights Agenda.
"Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena." Chick-fil-A wrote in an emailed statement toNBC News.
The chicken-sandwich restaurant chain found itself in the midst of controversy earlier this summer when its chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, said that it was company policy to support "the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit." He stated that in his view, same-sex marriages invite "God's judgment" and its proponents "have the audacity to define what marriage is about."
That prompted gay rights activists and others to launch nationwide boycotts andsame-sex "kiss-ins" at Chick-fil-A restaurants. A Chicago alderman blocked Chick-fil-A stores from the city based on its stance. In response, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee launched a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, in which supporters patronized the chain's restaurants en masse.