Chick-fil-A banned from university campus over anti-gay views

Chick-fil-A branch

A university in New Jersey, USA, has decided that a Chick-fil-A restaurant will not be built on campus because of the chain’s anti-LGBT+ views.

Students at Rider University reportedly voted for the Chick-fil-A branch as their top choice for a new food outlet on campus in a poll in spring.

However, in an open letter to students, the university’s president and vice-president said that Chick-fil-A had been removed from the list of options for the new campus restaurant because of its poor record on LGBT+ issues.

Chick-fil-A is “widely perceived” as against gay rights, says university

“Although it was included in previous surveys, Chick-fil-A was removed as one of the options based on the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community,” said president Gregory Dell’Omo and vice-president for student affairs Leanna Fenneberg.

“That decision required a difficult assessment of competing interests.

“We sought to be thoughtful and fair in balancing the desire to provide satisfying options for a new on-campus restaurant while also being faithful to our values of inclusion.”

Rider University, which has decided that a Chick-fil-A branch will not be built on campus

Rider University has issued a letter saying that a Chick-fil-A outlet will not be built on campus. (Rider University/Facebook)

Chick-fil-A denied that the company is against gay rights.

“Chick-fil-A was removed as one of the options based on the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.”

—Rider University

In a statement to WIVB, a Chick-fil-A spokesperson said: “Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality, and our restaurants and licensed locations on college campuses welcome everyone.

“We have no policy of discrimination against any group, and we do not have a political or social agenda.”

Chick-fil-A’s gay rights history

Chick-fil-A has previously been criticised for donating large sums of money to anti-LGBT+ groups and opposing equal marriage,

In 2012, it emerged that Chick-fil-A had donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including the Family Research Council, ‘gay cure’ group Exodus International and Focus on the Family.

CEO Dan Cathy later confirmed the company was opposed to marriage equality and “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.”

Cathy told Baptist Press at the time: “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.”

A Chick-fil-A outlet

Chick-fil-A has previously come under fire for having anti-LGBT+ views. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

In June, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, came under fire for supporting fast food chain Chick-fil-A.

Dorsey had tweeted a payment that he made to the restaurant using Square, a mobile payment service he owns.

In April last year, students at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh protested the arrival of a Chick-fil-A branch on campus.

Student senator Niko Martini told The Duquesne Duke: “Chick-fil-A has a questionable history on civil rights and human rights.

“I think it’s imperative [that] the university chooses to do business with organisations that coincide with the [university’s] mission and expectations they give students regarding diversity and inclusion.”