US: University government votes Chick-fil-A off campus

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A branch of Chick-fil-A has been voted off the campus of a North Carolina university by its student government, because of the company’s public opposition to equal marriage.

The student government at Elon University, has voted to ask the company to leave, and for it to be replaced with a different eatery.

The decision was made with 35 votes to 11 to have the branch removed, however the final decision lies with the university Government Association.

The Executive President of Elon’s Student Government Association, Darien Flowers, can use his veto on the bill, but the association will still let it stand, if two thirds vote in favour.

Mr Flowers reportedly wanted to speak to student voters before making his decision, but reports suggested that the majority of students in attendance at the hearing on Thursday, approved of the decision to try to have the restaurant removed.

Dan Anderson, a spokesperson for the private university, said that the final decision rests with university administrators, and the school president.

The resolution was drafted by a group containing both straight and gay students, which said it does not fit with the college’s non-discrimination policy.

They conceded that there are two other restaurants nearby, so anybody opposed to removing the branch can still eat at the restaurant chain.

Back in July, the CEO of Chick-fil-A publicly confirmed that the company was opposed to equal marriage.

Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that the company was “guilty as charged”, when asked about its perceived opposition to equal marriage.

There has since been a mix of messages coming out of the company, some seeming to suggest that executives wanted to distance Chick-fil-A from the controversy, others confirming that it has maintained its anti-gay policy.

Robert Orr, a student at the university, questioned whether the student body should be removing the entire company, and suggested that it only appears to be Dan Cathy, CEO, who very openly opposes equal marriage:

“Is this university prepared to inspect the giving records of every person and entity that it is connected to?”

Pan Geos, a deli style restaurant, and Grille Works Burgers, are also based on the Moseley Campus of Elon.

Two other educational institutions in North Carolina have removed Chick-fil-A from their campuses. Davidson College and Duke University let the restaurant go after Mr Cathy’s announcements in the summer.