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Chamber Considering All Viewpoints for Chick-fil-A COO's Visit

The Prince William Chamber Board of Directors will decide in August whether to explore other plans regarding the November visit of Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Dan T. Cathy.

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will decide in early August if they will go forward with plans to host a visit from Chick-fil-A’s Chief Operating Officer.

Dan Cathy has recently been the subject of media attention in response to his stance on the definition of marriage.

Cathy is slated to speak during a Nov. 27 Prince William County Chamber of Commerce event titled, “Your Leadership Toolkit” at the

Cathy, a leader of the family-owned, 45-year-old restaurant chain, is expected to share pointers on business leadership during the event.  

The chamber has received feedback from the public concerning Cathy’s visit and comments he publicly made regarding traditional marriage.

Some told chamber officials they weren’t pleased with Cathy’s planned visit and wanted officials to reconsider, chamber communications manager Andrea Whaley said Thursday. Others expressed their happiness about Cathy’s visit, Whaley said.

The chamber board of directors have a meeting planned for the first full week in August, she said. Among other topics of discussion, they will decide if they want to go in another direction regarding the planned visit based on what chamber member's viewpoints are, she added.

Board of directors meetings are closed to the public, but chamber members can direct their comments on the matter to Rob Clapper, Prince William Chamber CEO and president via email at rclapper@pwcchamber.org.

Cathy goes on an annual tour around the country to meet restaurant operators, Whaley said. He asked to address Prince William chamber members during that tour, making it his only stop in the mid-Atlantic region, she said.

The Chick-fil-A store in Woodbridge, located near Potomac Mills, was the top store in the country last year and he wanted to address the chamber closest to it, Whaley said.

Cathy's Comments: 'Emotional DNA' and Raising Teens

Cathy spoke on the Ken Coleman radio show in June on Father’s Day weekend as part of an segment on strong fathers, according to audio of episode posted online on June 18, 2011.

There is “emotional DNA” that God intended for us to get from a mother and a father, Cathy said on the show.

That’s essential for getting through the teen years and as an employer, they sometimes have to take on the role as parent to employees who don’t have that, Cathy said.

“… As for society in general, 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,'" Cathy said. "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."

Cathy defended the company’s support of the traditional family in the Baptist Press saying he was, “guilty as charged,” in connection with its stance.

The company is supportive of the family unit as defined in the Bible, Cathy told the Baptist Press early this month.

In a July 19 post on the Chick-fil-A Facebook Page, company officials wrote that it is its, “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.”

In response to Cathy's comments, now-former customers and public officials across the country have protested Chick-fil-A in person at restaurants and online through sites like BoycottChickfilA.com.

Vasquez2 July 30, 2012 at 04:54 AM
I personally know A LOT of people who have stepped up their support of Chik-Fil-A because of this, not all "religious" people either. In fact, I'd say most are doing so less in support of religion and more in support of 1st amendment rights (and the fact that we're all sick of boycotting, I'm offended by everything, whiners...Geez, if you don't like the organization, or what they stand for, go to McDs! This business of trying to shut down or demonize anyone with whom you disagree is getting out of hand...I read about this kind of thinking in my history book years ago...not good.
Vasquez2 July 30, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Ms. Gibson, THANK YOU for voicing your opinion as well. Editor or not, you, as much as anyone else, have the right to voice your opinion. Besides, just about every other journalist in the news these days is "opining", no reason you can't do it too!! I have a family member with 30 years in the field of broadcast journalism who would tell you that there is no such thing as an unbiased journalist or unbiased journalism. Just as long as we know that up front, it's all good. It's the honesty and full disclosure that matters.
Vasquez2 July 30, 2012 at 05:51 AM
He's not telling you how you should live your life, he was expressing HIS opinion and HIS belief system, something he has a right to do in this country without being punished for it (for now, anyways)! I happen to embrace the same belief system but that doesn't have any affect on you!! It's your life, your choices, you consequences, good or bad. His opinion does not, in any way, "invade' your life or anyone elses. It was a conversation about his Christian faith while being interviewed by a Christian publication!! If he was making this company policy that's different. He's not. Base on these circumstances, sounds to me like it's YOU who is violating HIS rights!! I have friends that are gay, my very closest, lifelong friend is gay! I don't agree with his lifestyle. But I love him. I'd take a bullet for him. He knows my feelings, he loves me too. See, that's what love does that hate can't ever do...transcend circumstances and disagreements. Haters can't make that leap. That's why they dont' get it when a Christian says, "hate the sin, love the sinner". That's incomprehensible to a "hater", so they resort to name calling and doing what they do best, making noise, making ridiculous comparisons and trying to stir up more hate. BTW,..guess who else is supporting CFA....my gay friend and his partner...know why...because we all agree on 1 thing...the 1st amendment...
boseamus August 01, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Let the Chamber members decide. They are capable, they can be culpable.
Rita Colleran August 01, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I agree with Vasquez2. Chik Fil A performs many good things that are overlooked in this article and comments. I am joining in on the Support Chick Fil-A Day today. BTW, I do have many gay friends and have for many years. Like mine, their life style is theirs. I do agree that they should have unions that provide all the legal benefits appropriated to marriages between men and women.


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