Huckabee backs Chick-fil-A in same-sex marriage controversy

In this Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee shakes hands after speaking about his new book at the National Press Club. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Mike Huckabee.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Updated: 3:52 p.m.

(CBS News) Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has jumped into the fray of an ongoing controversy over a fast food chain's outspoken stance against same-sex marriage, standing behind the company, Chick-fil-A, for supporting "the Biblical view of marriage."

Huckabee, in a statement on his Facebook page, said he has been "incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld."

In a recent interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy said he was "guilty as charged" when asked about his "support of the traditional family."

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," he said in the interview. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

Amid controversy sparked by the comments - including vehement opposition from the Muppets - Huckabee defended the company, and even called for a "Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day" this summer.

"Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant," he wrote. "Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1."

Huckabee, a former Republican presidential contender, is a prominent voice in the Republican Party - and his name has been mentioned as a long-shot possibility to serve on the ticket with Mitt Romney.

In a statement, Chick-fil-A said it would be staying out of the debate over same-sex marriage going forward.

"The Chick-fil-A 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," the statement read. "We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."

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