It's official: The comments made two weeks ago by Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy will not stop trending online. And with a kiss-in protest and Chick-fil-A appreciation day this week, the story is likely to not fade as quickly as most Twitter trends.
So if you haven't yet decided whether or not to proudly hold your sweet tea in a Chick-fil-A-branded cup or not, let's get you caught up on what's happened over the last two weeks.
On July 16, Chick-fil-A honcho Cathy told the Baptist Press he was "guilty as charged" when asked about his company’s support of "traditional families." "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.
Search results on Google news show the quotes from the fast-food boss first made headlines on gay blogs like GoodAsYou.org, which may have been the first to pick up and distribute the news.
On July 19, activists called for a “National Same Sex Kiss Day” to be held at Chick-fil-A. An event page was created on Facebook, but has since been removed. Other local events can still be found on GLAAD.org, however.
Chick-fil-A responded on Facebook, and so far the statement has been shared 11,598 times. In part, it states, "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of belief, creed, sexual orientation or gender. 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."
By July 20, the Jim Henson Co. told Facebook fans they would no longer do business with the fast food chain. Someone took creative license, and an image of some of our favorite Muppets standing below the statement quickly spread on social media.
Over the weekend and into the next week, the news seemed to settle down. That is, until Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno told the Chicago Tribune he was working to block any new Chick-fil-A restaurants in his part of the city. He would later tell CNN he wasn't against freedom of speech, but "if those beliefs turn into actions and actions of discriminatory policy or the lack of protections for LGBT people, that's the issue. It's not the belief. If their belief turns into action, there are consequences."
The next day, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members."
In response to comments by Moreno and Emanuel, the owner of the lone Chicago Chick-fil-A in Chicago posted this letter on their Facebook page, extending an invite to the mayor and the people of the city. Other Chick-fil-A franchise owners shared similar letters, and they too went viral in the social community.
That same day, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino put his thoughts in an official letter. And the fuzzy black and white text was shared repeatedly. "I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston," he wrote to Cathy.
Meanwhile, another storm was brewing on Facebook. Conservative commentator and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee posted a welcome message to the "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" event the same day the letters went viral. Since then, millions have been invited and hundreds of thousands have agreed to participate. Multiple photos with slogans of support have been shared thousands of times and may have even ended up in your newsfeed.
Remember Internet sensation Antoine Dodson? He's back with another viral video. This time he wants you to go run and tell your friends about why he will still eat at Chick-fil-A. "No one is going to stop me from eating there," he said. "It just comes down to it. If I want a Chick-fil-A sandwich, I'm going to have a Chick-fil-A."
But in her viral video about "hate, love and chicken," author Jackson Pearce says "it is a big deal" to continue eating at Chick-fil-A. "Every penny you spend at a company is a vote in favor of them," she says. Her breakdown of why she disagrees with Cathy has even been turned into shareable bites on Tumblr.
By Thursday, the Rev. Billy Graham took to Twitter to release his statement. "Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's word. I appreciate the Cathy family's public support for God's definition of marriage," it read in part.
And Chick-fil-A found support from at least one Bostonian -- Boston Bruin Tim Thomas.
iReport: Have you seen demonstrations at Chick-fil-A restaurants in your area? Click here to submit photos and video to CNN iReport.
And in a show of support, Sarah Palin posted an image on Facebook of her and husband Todd enjoying a meal from Chick-fil-A.
As celebrities, politicians and your friends weigh in on this conversation, have you shared any Chick-fil-A-related content in your social circles? If not, you can share this story and start a conversation. Let us know how it goes.