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 Hylton Performing Arts Center.
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 email@example.com.
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.