A university in North Carolina has voted to ban the popular fast food chain Chick-fil-A from its campus, reports state.
The Student Government Association of Elon University, a private educational institution in Glen Raven, voted 35 to 11 to request that Chick-fil-A be replaced on campus. The vote was based on a resolution introduced by the gay and straight alliance at the school, who claimed that the restaurant did not comport with the university’s non-discrimination policy because it disagrees with same-sex “marriage.”
However, as previously reported, Chick-fil-A says that while company president Dan Cathy expressed his support for the “Biblical definition of the family unit,” the restaurant has long adhered to a policy of equal treatment toward homosexuals, whether they be customers or employees.
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent owner/operators,” the company posted on July 19th on its official Chick-fil-A Facebook page following national uproar over Cathy’s statements. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Additionally, last month, Chick-fil-A released a statement after reports emerged that the company had purportedly made promises to reevaluate its giving practices and non-discrimination policy in order to open a franchise in Chicago. Chick-fil-A remarked that the backlash that it had received over the past several months by homosexual groups was unwarranted. It stated that there was a misunderstanding about the company’s donor practices, which have never been focused on opposing issues such as homosexuality or other “political or social agendas.”
“For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized,” the company outlined. “Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas.”
“Our intent is not to support political or social agendas,” Chick-fil-A further clarified, noting that the company’s charitable contributions have always been to positive charities that are not issue-based.
It again advised, “As we have stated, the Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent owner/operators.”
Chick-fil-A then pointed visitors a document it had created entitled, “Who We Are,” which repeated the statement for the third time, adding, “We are a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality; our intent is not to engage in political or social debates.”
“There are many diverse viewpoints and opinions among those associated with Chick-fil-A, including our independent owner/operators and their team members, Chick-fil-A corporate staff, suppliers and business partners,” it stated. “Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family, who own the company, value and respect all of these differences. If someone in Chick-fil-A offers a personal viewpoint, they do not presume to speak for everyone.”
Among the many charities and organizations that Chick-fil-A listed as supporting were The United Way, The Salvation Army, the Grady Hospital Burn Center in Atlanta, Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, Junior Achievement, the PGA Tour Charities, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and others. Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Alliance Defense Fund and other similar Christian organizations that are known to vocally oppose homosexuality were not noted in the document.
WND also reported that Family Research Council has not received a donation from Chick-fil-A since 2010. The National Organization for Marriage additionally told the news agency that they have never received a donation from the chicken chain.
“Despite recent news articles claiming Chick-fil-A’s Winshape Foundation donated money to our organization — this is false. The National Organization for Marriage has never received funding from them,” it stated. “We support Chick-fil-A’s philosophy that every person is treated with ‘honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.’”
The vote by the Student Government Association at Elon University in regard to this controversy now lies in the hands of its executive president, Darien Flowers, who can accept the vote or veto it. According to reports, Flowers wishes to talk further with students before making a decision. However, even if he vetoes the vote, the measure can still pass by a two-thirds resolution.
The final decision will be made by administration and Elon’s president.
Elon University marks the third college in North Carolina to vote to boot Chick-fil-A from campus. Duke University and Davidson College were the first two to make the decision in response to statements made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy.