Chik-Fil-A’s Vice President of Public Relations Don Perry died this morning of a heart attack. He passes in the middle of a firestorm involving the company. Just last week, the company’s CEO came out against gay marriage. Before his passing, Perry released a statement to try and smooth over the melee, saying that they are promising to “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

“Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 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.” adds Chik-Fil-A.