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Chick-fil-A's PR Chief Dies Amid Gay-Rights Firestorm

Media chief Don Perry may have died from a heart attack, according to reports.

As protesters and supporters rally around Chick-fil-A's recently announced anti-gay marriage stance, it is being reported that the company's top media spokesman has died.

Don Perry, long-time vice president of public relations for the company, died suddenly Friday morning, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The AJC did not report a cause of death, but there is speculation that Perry suffered a heart attack.

"Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 29 years," the company said in a statement released to The AJC. "For many of you in the media, he was the spokesperson for Chick-fil-A. He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Chick-fil-A has been embroiled in a firestorm over anti-gay marriage remarks made by company president Dan Cathy earlier this month. After receiving pressure from gay rights' supporters, Cathy said his privately owned company is against same-sex unions.

Cathy declared his company was “guilty as charged” on gay marriage, and added, “We’re 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 marriage.”

Following Cathy’s remarks, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a released statement that Chick-fil-A "has finally come clean."

Griffin, whose organization supports same-sex unions, had pressured Cathy to take a stand.

“Chick-fil-A is headed by a man who is proud of his company’s anti-LGBT giving and has made some extremist statements concerning marriage equality. Consumers now have to decide if that’s the kind of company they want to give their money to,” a Human Rights Campaign statement read earlier this month.

to read more about the story.

Prior to Perry's death, Chick-fil-A supporters had been planning an "Appreciation Day" for Aug. 1: Those who support Cathy’s stance are being asked to eat at the restaurant that day. The event is still scheduled.

Opponents are planning a day of their own on Aug. 3: "National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A.”

Gay rights groups have also called for a boycott of the restaurant. In response, the Jim Henson Co. pulled its Muppet toys from kids' meals, and politicians in Boston and Chicago told the chain it's not welcome in their cities, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

goombaloon August 02, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Then don't marry another woman.
Anon August 02, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Only from your tiny self Andy!
Teller of Truth August 02, 2012 at 08:46 PM
It is a great way to boost a business! I spent $$ there when I normally wouldn't. I will always support free speech in America!
LBV Collins August 02, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I support free speech, too, Teller of Truth. And I fully support Cathy's right to free speech. What I don't support is Cathy's efforts to force his anti-gay religious beliefs on every American by passing laws aimed at making homosexuality a crime. That's wholly unAmerican. It's sad to me that so many people were duped into thinking this was a "free speech" issue. It isn't and never was.
Anon August 02, 2012 at 09:11 PM
You do understand he was asked the question right? It's not like he hung posters up in his restaurants. He answered a question. I am glad he was honest about it! You gotta respect that! We had an election, it was voted on, and it lost, move on! I have to tell you in 10 years this will not be an issue! Marriage equality will happen and libs will complain about something else. Yes I do have a crystal ball!
Teller of Truth August 02, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I guess they shouldn't have ever asked him what he thought then!
LBV Collins August 02, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Hi AG. Yes, I understand he was asked the question. And I, too, am glad he answered it honestly. (And, yes, I respect Cathy for his honesty.) I also agree that marriage equality will happen and that in 10 years this won't be an issue. I just wish Cathy would reconsider his anti-gay interpretation of the Bible... and I especially wish he would stop supporting groups that want to create laws against homosexuality.
Anon August 02, 2012 at 09:43 PM
No one is trying to create laws against homosexuality! Just like no one is taking away anyone's birth control or abortion rights! The libs like to take every issue and stretch it so far from what it is. Geez! I swear don't people have better things to do?
Teller of Truth August 02, 2012 at 09:55 PM
ALL of these 'threads' are part of the American fabric!
LBV Collins August 03, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Hi AG. Well, yes, there are those who want to make homosexuality illegal: “Montana GOP Policy: Make Homosexuality Illegal.” [1] Here’s the stated goal of the Family Research Council (which Cathy’s company donated money to): “Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed… We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools.” [2] And then there’s this article: “10 States That Illegally Make Sodomy Illegal – And The 4 That Do Only If You’re Gay.” [3] The article notes, “Despite the landmark Supreme Court ‘Lawrence v. Texas’ case that invalidated anti-sodomy laws and, therefore, essentially made sodomy legal, there are still 14 states in the country where sodomy is on the books as “illegal,” plus an additional four where sodomy is illegal only if you’re gay.” 1. http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-6879243.html 2. http://www.frc.org/human-sexuality#homosexuality 3. http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-the-10-states-illegally-make-sodomy-illegal-plus-4-only-if-youre-gay/politics/2012/03/09/35913
LBV Collins August 03, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Hi LER. Well, if it's a free speech issue, can you explain to me how Cathy's free speech rights were infringed? Just how was he prevented from stating what he believes?
Anon August 03, 2012 at 02:13 AM
You know that will never happen, right? People need to calm down!
Constant Comment August 03, 2012 at 02:34 AM
TMI! Don't ask, don't tell, don't even bring it up! }~)
Anon August 03, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I agree CC! I don't walk around cramming it down everyone's throat that I am straight! It's no ones business! Geez! I saw the LGBT community were bashing on Sally Ride for not coming out. God bless her for not wanting to remembered for that and being remembered for being a scientist instead!
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 06:37 AM
Constant Comment, that's Caroline, not Carolyn. If you're going to bad-mouth me, at least get my name right. Martha doesn't need me as an alter-ego. I have my own ego and it's in very good shape, thank you very much.
Constant Comment August 03, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Sorry Carolyn, still irrelevant.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Free speech is just that, free speech--not freedom from criticism or disagreement. Just because each of us has the right to say, out loud, what we feel or what we think, doesn't mean that we are not left open to criticism or disagreement about it. That comes with discourse. If everybody started out with the same opinions, beliefs, feelings, or ideas, what would be the point of having any kind of discussion. So, you say what you have to say. I say what I have to say. And, then, we talk about it. We have an exchange of ideas. I may feel that your ideas or not based in fact or are based on some kind of doctrine that not everyone is required to adhere to or agrees with, as with the bible. That's not hypocritical. That's a difference of opinion, to which each of us is entitled. As long as a person sticks to what they espouse they believe, they're not a hypocrite. The same applies to you. So, why not stop tossing that word around to describe someone who disagrees with you.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 06:52 AM
Marry their underage cousin, marry their dog? Boy, that sure came out of left (or should I say right) field. How do you get from an adult wanting to marry an adult of the same gender to wanting to marry an underage cousin or one's pet? Don't you think that's stretching logic (what logic!?) a little too far. That's an entirely ridiculous argument.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 06:56 AM
It would be easier to show proof if Gay marriage was legalized everywhere in this country. Then, Gay marrieds could simply show the same proof as heterosexuals--a marriage certificate. The frightened little employer wouldn't have to worry about it. Gays aren't asking for special treatment. They're asking for the same treatment.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 06:58 AM
It'll go away when same-gender marriage is made legal throughout this country. Then, we won't have to talk about it at all--at least no more than we talk about marriage as it applies to straights.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 07:00 AM
How's it goin' Martha? I've been very, very busy working with Organizing for America. I'd like to thank all the Right Wingers for getting my ass in gear and out there to re-elect the President. I honestly--I mean HONESTLY--would not have done it, without them. I am so freaking stoked!!!!
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 07:11 AM
It's one of the most important issues of our day. And, just because someone disagrees with your opinion, doesn't mean they're trying to police your thoughts. Calling Liberals "thought police" because we disagree with you is as silly is sticking out your tongue and blowing a raspberry. Yea, all we straights have been exploited by the Gay and Lesbian community. We're so easily manipulated. Get over it. We support the Gay and Lesbian community because it's about time they were given the same rights the rest of us have. Liberals support the rights of their fellow Americans. Just because you, personally, believe that Gays and Lesbians have no rights and that their issues are not important, doesn't actually make it true. It is merely, your opinion. And, although, you're entitled to that opinion, as an opinion, it carries no validity as fact.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 07:13 AM
Heck, girl, I find myself agreeing with you. Will wonders never cease?
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 07:20 AM
Hey, Andy, you've got my vote.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 07:21 AM
Bravo, Andy.
Caroline G. Ross August 03, 2012 at 07:54 AM
Actually, she's right on topic. The government can't make laws to revoke or limit someone's rights, based on religious belief or doctrine--separation of church and state. The government can't continue to keep Gays from marrying based on Christian or non-Christian religious objections such as it would endanger traditional marriage, family values, or whatever BS they're using now. When people who are against Gay marriage exercise their freedom of speech, those of us who believe Gays should be allowed to marry, exercise our freedom of speech. That speech may reflect a number of opposing opinions, including the fact that anti-Gay speech tends to be inherently bigoted. When subtle language like lifestyle choice or alternate lifestyle is used you're, basically, saying that homosexual orientation is not a valid human condition, but the result of someone's choice. In this crazy, screwed-up, mean-spirited, nasty, hateful world, who would consciously choose to be Gay? It's not as though America treats Gays with so much warmth and respect. Although a small percentage of the population, it's a normal part of the total spectrum of human sexuality, probably the result of brain chemistry or genetics, and, therefore, not anomalous. So, we should accept it as such and give Gay Americans all the rights afforded the rest of us. If boycotting businesses will hurry that along, I'm all for it. I never ate at Chick-fil-a before Cathy enlightened us about his bigotry--yes, bigotry.
julie dawson August 03, 2012 at 09:17 AM
Mr Cathay believes the bibles description of marriage, and nothing will change his mind he will stand up for his beliefs, and that is his right agree with it or not. He never said I hate gays as he was accused of, he never refused to serve or hire gay men and women. Just because you disagree or are passionate in your beliefs does not give you the right to boycott a business and attempt to ruin a persons life, well you can if your a hate monger but look where it will get you.
julie dawson August 03, 2012 at 09:29 AM
This type of authoritarian behaviour will never further the cause. People showed up in droves including homosexuals, because this type of authoritarian hate and bullying wont be tolerated in America. If M Cathay was a hateful fool he would round up a group of people and boycott a business run by homosexuals. Hate and anger wont solve the problem, it simply made tons of money for Chick Fil A, and that will continue. I dont agree with Mr Cathay, but he has a right to believe as he wishes, without being bullied and threatened.
kms August 04, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I have read so many comments on this issue and I do not get where people transfer "hate" into the whole Chick Fil A thing. This company has from when their first store opening has stood on these values. There are many more establishments out in the world with these same values. My opinion is that once the word, "Bible" is quoted and scriptures are spoken, some people find it offensive. You either believe in the Word of God, or you don't. I don't believe you can pick and choose scriptures and call yourself a follower of Christ. Chick Fil A, is an establishment that literally believes the Word of God. There are lots of other companies that stand for the same thing. Forever 21, In N Out Burgers, Berean book store, WalMart was first established with Bible believing beliefs and I'm sure there are many more. On the other hand, there are places that don't take too much to figure out what they stand for. I have a choice to go or not go. I would not bring my family to Hooters. I already know what they stand for and what to expect the place to be like. And as for me and my family, we choose to not support them. It does not mean I "hate" them.
Anon October 25, 2012 at 09:50 PM
How did that boycott work out for ya?? http://abcnews.go.com/Business/chick-fil-benefited-summers-gay-marriage-debate/t/story?id=17562204

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