People are furious at a New Jersey college for cutting Chick-fil-A as a potential campus dining option
- Chick-fil-A supporters are slamming Rider University for cutting the chain from a survey about potential on-campus dining options.
- The New Jersey college blocked Chick-fil-A as an option "based on the company's record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community," the Associated Press reported.
- Chick-fil-A faced backlash in 2012, when its CEO said he did not support same-sex marriage and it was revealed that the chain had donated to several anti-LGBTQ organizations.
- The chain has since stopped donating to these organizations, with executives saying that the company will no longer engage on political issues.
A New Jersey college's decision to block Chick-fil-A as a potential campus dining option because of the chain's perceived stance on LGBTQ rights has sparked backlash.
Rider University, a college in New Jersey, cut Chick-fil-A from a survey about potential on-campus dining options, the Associated Press reported. The college cut the chicken chain, which had previously appeared on the survey, "based on the company's record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community," it said.The decision sparked backlash, particularly among conservatives on social media. Some saw the decision to block the chain as a potential dining option as "bigotry" against Christians.
Erick Erickson, a blogger and radio host who has argued that same-sex relationships are a "sin" and that Christians must speak out against marriage equality, tweeted: "The most popular fast food restaurant in America cannot open on a college campus because its owners are Christians."
Some on the left applauded Rider University's decision. The Democratic Coalition tweeted that Rider University was "standing up against bigotry" by blocking Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A told the Associated Press it has "no policy of discrimination against any group." The chain did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
In 2012, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy sparked controversy when he told the Baptist Press that the company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of the family unit." Reports soon emerged detailing Chick-fil-A's many charitable donations to anti-LGBTQ organizations.
Since 2012, Chick-fil-A has halted donations to nearly all organizations that have been criticized as anti-LGBTQ. Some individual franchisees have used their platform to contribute to LGBTQ causes, including a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Iowa that donated food to a gay pride picnic.The company has purposefully moved away from politics, asking franchisees in 2017 to avoid making public political statements.
"There are several candidates who would like to use us as a platform," David Farmer, Chick-fil-A's vice president of menu strategy and development, told Business Insider in 2016. "We are not engaging. Chick-fil-A is about food, and that's it."
Despite Chick-fil-A's resistance to being used as a political tool, many on the right continue to embrace the chain as a conservative icon.
The chain is a favorite among Republicans in Congress. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio took a stand to support Chick-fil-A after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey faced backlash for posting that he had eaten at the chain during Pride Month.
And, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham posted a photo of himself and Fox News host Sean Hannity eating Chick-fil-A following a hearing on sexual abuse allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
I thought we were supposed to tolerate everyone's ideas. I guess this school draws the line at delicious chicken sandwiches.♂️- Sen. Tear Gas® (R-KS) (@RealMoneyMonkey) November 27, 2018
As a graduate of Rider, I'll await the request for a another donation and let them know my extra money is for Chick-Fil-A♀️....- deplorable jill (@jstraus726) November 27, 2018
Standing up against bigotry: @RiderUniversity has refused to let a @ChickfilA open on campus due to their corporate values, specifically those relating to the #LGBTQ community, not aligning with the university. https://t.co/E0cn0z9giU #Resist- Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) November 27, 2018
I've never eaten or purchased anything from Chick-fil-a for this reason and I never will. I'm literally putting my money where my mouth is.- Michele (@McBelleCat) November 27, 2018