Chick-fil-a chief spokesman Don Perry during controversy over same-sex marriage rights

By Justine Espersen

Amid the controversy over the comments made by Chick-fil-a’s CEO Dan Cathy made against gay marriage, their President of Public Relations Don Perry died suddenly Friday morning.

The head spokesman was based in the Atlanta area and worked for almost 29 years.

“He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him,” the company said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Local news outlets said Perry suffered from a heart attack, according to the LA Times.

The privately owned Christian company spoke out about their support against same-sex marriage after the organization Equality Matters revealed that they donated around $2 million to antigay Christian organizations in 2010.

Cathy had agreed to the allegations as “guilty as charged.”

“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said in a statement.

Gay rights activists have called for a boycott while Christian conservatives have expressed their support.

However, despite these donations the company still sticks to their policy, which “is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” according to a statement sent by Perry via email.

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