Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy Speaks Out On Gay Marriage Controversy

03/17/2014 03:47 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy apparently laments getting the fast-food chain involved in the debate over marriage equality, but he isn't taking back his anti-gay comments.

Cathy spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the homophobic remark that landed him and the business in hot water nearly two years ago.

“Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy told the AJC. “And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it."

In July 2012, Cathy made headlines when he said "guilty as charged" in response to a question about whether the company was in "support of the traditional family." The quip led to boycotts of the restaurant chain by equality supporters.

He may be ready to move on from the debacle, but his views on same-sex marriage have not changed.

"I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God’s word and I’m just personally committed to that,” he told the AJC. “I know others feel very different from that and I respect their opinion and I hope that they would be respectful of mine. ... I think that’s a political debate that’s going to rage on. And the wiser thing for us to do is to stay focused on customer service.”

Though he now wants to shift his efforts away from political discourse, he was eager to add his two cents last June when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, tweeting, "Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies." He eventually deleted the tweet because, as a spokesperson told The Huffington Post, "his views didn’t necessarily represent the views of all customers, restaurant owners and employees."

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