The president and CEO of Chick-fil-A said he is no longer in the business of weighing in publicly on political issues, though his personal views on same-sex marriage haven't changed.
Almost two years after he made headlines by coming out in support for traditional marriage, Dan Cathy said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he regrets getting Chick-fil-A mixed up in the gay marriage debate.
"Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make," Mr. Cathy said. "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."
The CEO told an online publication in 2012 that he was "guilty as charged" in his belief that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman. Activists protested the fast-food chain, even launching a boycott, while conservatives flocked to the restaurants to show support for Mr. Cathy.
"Consumers want to do business with brands that they can interface with, that they can relate with," he told the newspaper. "And it's probably very wise from our standpoint to make sure that we present our brand in a compelling way that the consumer can relate to."
When asked if his views on same-sex marriage have changed, he said: "I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God's word and I'm just personally committed to that. I know others feel very different from that and I respect their opinion and I hope that they would be respectful of mine."
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