Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's announcement on his position on same sex marriage triggered a firestorm of public opinion. Cathy's statement prompted boycotts and petitions against the food chain. But, many people still support the restaurant. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee even called for a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."
"I think it's a terrible thing, I really do," Frank Zerilli said. Zerilli and his partner Franklin Calvin, owners of Tummy Rub Bakery, have been together for 33 years. They got married in Canada in 2005 and celebrated their seven-year anniversary Wednesday.
They've been boycotting Chick-fil-A ever since the restaurant's president said the following : "I think we are inviting God's judgement on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say,'we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage'."
"If somebody has a personal belief, that's their personal belief. Don't discriminate in your business and give money to try and discriminate and hurt people. That's what trying to stop gay marriage does. It hurts people," Zerilli said.
Zerilli and Calvin said personal beliefs and business shouldn't go hand in hand -- a belief they practice in their own business.
"Our business is one thing, our private life is our private life. We don't advocate that it's gay owned and operated. It's not even on our website or in our brochure," Calvin said.
Thursday, KTXS asked about 15 people what they thought about the controversy. About one-third stood by Chick-fil-A, one-third had problems with the President's statement, and the remaining one-third did not know about the controversy at all.
"That had nothing to do with the chicken. I like it. I'm still going to eat it," one woman said.
When asked if she would continue to eat at Chick-fil-A, another woman answered: "No, no probably not."
"I'm not opposed to eating there anymore. I'm just not as happy with the comments they've made about gay marriage," another woman said.
KTXS contacted all of the Chick-fil-A restaurants in Abilene and the one in the Heartland Mall in Brownwood. They declined to comment.
The Chick-fil-A company issued a statement on its Facebook page that said the following: "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."