Local Chick-fil-A owner speaks out about gay rights controversy

Local store owner declares not all Chick-fil-A's are anti-gay
(Source: Chick-fil-A)
(Source: Chick-fil-A)

(WMC-TV) – Controversy surrounds Chick-fil-A's stance on gay marriage and questionable contributions to anti-gay groups.

One of Chick-fil-A's local franchises is speaking out after the company president's recent stand against gay marriage sparked uproar.

Local Chick-fil-A owner Stuart Davidson is standing by the company president even if they must agree to disagree.

"I hate to think that anyone got feelings hurt," said Davidson, who is the owner-operator of Chick-fil-A in Southaven. "You never want to lose customers because of controversy."

Davidson's restaurant is one of 1,600 threatened by a boycott after CEO Dan Cathy told a religious news organization that he supports the "biblical definition of the family unit".

"It doesn't bother me because those are Dan's personal feelings," said Davidson.

But those are feelings that Davidson does not personally share.

"We don't necessarily have the same views but I respect him if that's how he believes just like he respects me even though I might not believe the way he does," explained Davidson.

Chick-fil-A is also under fire for its donations to anti-gay organizations.

Davidson said he does not monitor corporate contributions but says the company does not tell him where to donate local dollars or who to hire.

"I think it's important to treat everybody the same regardless of race or gender religion or sexual orientation," said Davidson.

While politicians in several states are trying to block the company from expanding, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has called for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation day August 1.

Gay rights activists answered back by calling for a same-sex kiss in front of Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide on August 3.

Davidson is Jewish working in a Baptist company.

He says Chick-fil-A has always respected his religious beliefs and he intends to continue to respect theirs.

Sales are not hurting the Southaven Chick-fil-A.

Davidson suspects he has lost and gained customers based on this highly publicized debate.

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