Students petition college to close Chick-fil-A because it's 'homophobic'

Students at Youngstown State University have petitioned school administrators to close the local Chick-fil-A on campus because having the restaurant open late at night "adds to the negative experience of LGBT students."

Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy made the mistake of announcing his opposition to gay marriage.  Much hysteria ensued as LGBT groups picketed, boycotted, and held "kiss-ins" to intimidate him.

At Youngstown State, students want to take that opposition to the next level.

Campus Reform:

According to the petition, the university offers "little [sic] accommodations for transgender students when it comes to getting their names changed in the system or living in appropriate dorms, and the only LGBT group on campus gets almost no visibility."

Worse still, from the petitioner's perspective, is the fact that administrators have in the past "allowed anti-LGBT speakers on campus and did nothing about it when students complained," though the petition does not specify what the school should have done to mollify its LGBT community in those cases.

"The fact that the only restaurant they have open during the evenings is a notoriously anti-LGBT restaurant only adds to the negative experience of LGBT students on campus," the petition concludes. "Obviously, replacing Chick-fil-A would not change the company's views or anything, but it would be an act of solidarity for the campus's LGBT students."

Emmett Ray, the petition's author, explained that the anti-LGBT speakers referenced in the petition were "preachers with big signs condemning LGBT people," and that he wished the university would "actually have security kick them out when people report them."

Ray told Campus Reform that he wants Chick-Fil-A to be replaced "because Chick-fil-A is notoriously run by homophobes," adding, "my goal with the petition was more to start a discussion than actually get Chick-fil-A closed."

Several individuals voiced their support in comments, including at least one faculty member.

"Time for these people grow up and accept what is and move forward living life and stop hating and spread more love," one said, while another asserted that, "The choice of Chick-fil-a by Pres. Tressel to come to YSU with Chartwells is symbolic of a culture of indifference towards minority communities."

"Preachers with big signs" are not "speakers" in any rational sense of the word.  And even if they were, the obvious glee the originator of the petition took in imagining campus security kicking the preachers off the grounds says a lot more about his authoritarian tendencies than it does about the preachers' homophobia.

Students can choose not to patronize Chick-fil-A fror any reason.  Maybe they don't like the products it sells.  Perhaps they had a bad customer service experience.  Maybe they don't like chicken.

There's nothing inherently wrong with boycotting the business for what they believe.  But why ruin it for everyone else?  If Chick-fil-A goes under, it will be because it failed as a business to offer fast food that people want to eat.  It really is that simple – Capitalism 101.  But a small minority of students wants to impose their beliefs on everyone else by taking away what is apparently a popular late-night gathering place for most of the students on campus. 

Thankfully, the administration hasn't caved...yet.

"The Chick-fil-A brand is pervasive on college and university campuses throughout the nation and is an extremely popular choice for our students at YSU, as well," the statement began, adding, "As part of the YSU Culture of Community initiative, the university recently formed a new Inclusion and Awareness Committee to help us better appreciate our diversity and to help us work together to overcome and prevent societal divisions. We invite those with concerns about Chick-fil-A to join in Committee discussions and participate in efforts to promote and nurture respect and to develop a campus community where everyone feels safe and secure."

Talking and "dialogue" never satisfy these people.  Expect the effort to close the business to increase as time goes by.

Students at Youngstown State University have petitioned school administrators to close the local Chick-fil-A on campus because having the restaurant open late at night "adds to the negative experience of LGBT students."

Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy made the mistake of announcing his opposition to gay marriage.  Much hysteria ensued as LGBT groups picketed, boycotted, and held "kiss-ins" to intimidate him.

At Youngstown State, students want to take that opposition to the next level.

Campus Reform:

According to the petition, the university offers "little [sic] accommodations for transgender students when it comes to getting their names changed in the system or living in appropriate dorms, and the only LGBT group on campus gets almost no visibility."

Worse still, from the petitioner's perspective, is the fact that administrators have in the past "allowed anti-LGBT speakers on campus and did nothing about it when students complained," though the petition does not specify what the school should have done to mollify its LGBT community in those cases.

"The fact that the only restaurant they have open during the evenings is a notoriously anti-LGBT restaurant only adds to the negative experience of LGBT students on campus," the petition concludes. "Obviously, replacing Chick-fil-A would not change the company's views or anything, but it would be an act of solidarity for the campus's LGBT students."

Emmett Ray, the petition's author, explained that the anti-LGBT speakers referenced in the petition were "preachers with big signs condemning LGBT people," and that he wished the university would "actually have security kick them out when people report them."

Ray told Campus Reform that he wants Chick-Fil-A to be replaced "because Chick-fil-A is notoriously run by homophobes," adding, "my goal with the petition was more to start a discussion than actually get Chick-fil-A closed."

Several individuals voiced their support in comments, including at least one faculty member.

"Time for these people grow up and accept what is and move forward living life and stop hating and spread more love," one said, while another asserted that, "The choice of Chick-fil-a by Pres. Tressel to come to YSU with Chartwells is symbolic of a culture of indifference towards minority communities."

"Preachers with big signs" are not "speakers" in any rational sense of the word.  And even if they were, the obvious glee the originator of the petition took in imagining campus security kicking the preachers off the grounds says a lot more about his authoritarian tendencies than it does about the preachers' homophobia.

Students can choose not to patronize Chick-fil-A fror any reason.  Maybe they don't like the products it sells.  Perhaps they had a bad customer service experience.  Maybe they don't like chicken.

There's nothing inherently wrong with boycotting the business for what they believe.  But why ruin it for everyone else?  If Chick-fil-A goes under, it will be because it failed as a business to offer fast food that people want to eat.  It really is that simple – Capitalism 101.  But a small minority of students wants to impose their beliefs on everyone else by taking away what is apparently a popular late-night gathering place for most of the students on campus. 

Thankfully, the administration hasn't caved...yet.

"The Chick-fil-A brand is pervasive on college and university campuses throughout the nation and is an extremely popular choice for our students at YSU, as well," the statement began, adding, "As part of the YSU Culture of Community initiative, the university recently formed a new Inclusion and Awareness Committee to help us better appreciate our diversity and to help us work together to overcome and prevent societal divisions. We invite those with concerns about Chick-fil-A to join in Committee discussions and participate in efforts to promote and nurture respect and to develop a campus community where everyone feels safe and secure."

Talking and "dialogue" never satisfy these people.  Expect the effort to close the business to increase as time goes by.

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