A former employee says that he quit his job at Chick-fil-A after almost a decade of working at its restaurants and corporate headquarters because the company allowed a mindset "that Chick-fil-A doesn't like homosexuals."

"It's become a safe place for people to hate and expect to be patted on the back for it. I don't want to work in that kind of environment," 60-year-old Steve Cammett recently told CBS Atlanta.

Cammett said that he spent nine years working for the restaurant chain because "I was a Chick-fil-A enthusiast. ... We don't have enough time to go over all the things I liked about Chick-fil-A."

But things changed earlier this year after Chick-fil-A founder Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that his company was “guilty as charged” of working to prevent marriage equality, sparking a series of protests and counter-protests.

"I felt hurt by those statements," Cammett, whose late sister was a lesbian, said.

The former employee recalled instances where customers and other employees made bigoted commends about LGBT people. In one case, a customer put his arm around an employee and thanked him for taking a stand against "those perverts."

"And that [employee] was gay and [the customer] didn't know it," Cammett explained. "And I just thought, 'Wow. What has happened here?'"

"Chick-fil-A allowed a mindset to continue, especially amongst their customers, that Chick-fil-A doesn't like homosexuals," he added.

Earlier this month, Chick-fil-A reportedly agreed to stop funding groups opposing rights for LGBT people, some of which had been labeled as hate groups. But just two days later, the company changed its tune.

"Chick-fil-A and its charitable-giving arm, the WinShape Foundation, did not agree to stop making donations to groups that support the biblical definition of marriage in exchange for being allowed to open a franchise in Chicago," a statement from the company said.

Watch this video from CBS Atlanta, broadcast Sept. 26, 2012.

CBS Atlanta 46