Rally Outside NYU’s Kimmel Center, Thursday March 8th at 4PM Calling for a Removal of Chick-Fil-A from Campus Because of Anti-Gay Funding
What Students Against Homophobia say about Chick-Fil-A
What we are hearing from NYU, the Student Senators Council (SSC), and NYU president John Sexton is that the homophobic practices of Chick-fil-A constitute a political issue – not a human rights issue.
“I can’t take a political stance” - John Sexton.
“…the Student Senators Council believes that freedom of expression is the most important virtue of an institute devoted to education.The SSC also believes there is afundamental difference between personal boycott and institutional prohibition. To ban any entity from campus for ideological reasons is, in most every case, to limit freedom of expression… There have been no reported acts of discriminationon the part of the restaurant chain…it is for this reason that the Council voted not to support an institutional ban of Chick-Fil-A…The Student Senators Council encourages concerned students…to exercise their right to personally boycott any entity that offends their moral sensibilities.”
Wanna know why the SSC does not represent what we stand for?
They claim to have researched Chick-fil-A’s connections to homophobic groups. But so have we, and somehow SSC’s “research” overlooked that the WinShape Foundation, Chick-fil-A’s “charitable” arm, donated $1,733,699 to the following anti-gay groups in 2009 (the most recent year for which public records are available):
· Marriage and Family Legacy Fund, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Family Research Council (oppose marriage equality) ,
· Fellowship Of Christian Athletes, Focus On The Family (have bullied gay students),
· Eagle Forum (has railed against courts for promoting a “gay agenda” in schools),
· Exodus International (promotes harmful ex-gay therapy),
· National Christian Foundation (funds Focus on The Family and Family Research Council).
What does it mean to be “pro-family” and “pro-marriage” in America?
Chick-Fil-A funds groups that contribute to the marginalization and oppression of LGBTQ people, including but not limited to the denial of the benefits of legal marriage like health insurance, visitation rights, social security, veteran compensation. We should not tolerate anti-gay hate groups or gay “therapy” given the national climate of discrimination, where LGBTQ teens are FIVE times more likely to attempt suicide and TWICE more likely to be homeless. We should take a stance against hate. And guess what….
Not taking a stance against this company means not taking a stance against homophobia.
What about freedom of speech? We don’t think freedom of speech applies to bigotry, homophobia, sexism, or racism. Freedom of speech should not undermine the safety and liberty of others. In the same way that we would stand up and denounce a company that funds openly racist organizations, we have to stand up against a company that funds homophobic groups.
Unfortunately, like many employers Chick-Fill-A does not offer ANY protection to LGBTQ employees. But they do have an outstanding record of employee discriminationlaw suits – and not just from LGBTQ workers. Aziz Latif, a former Chick-fil-A restaurant manager in Houston, sued the company in 2002 after Latif, a Muslim, was fired a day after he didn’t participate in a Catholic group prayer at a company training program in 2000.
We demand that NYU, via its food service provider Aramark, terminate Chick-fil-A’s contract – at the expense of the corporation and not the workers. Not only do we want this anti-gay company off of campus, but because we want NYU administration to take a public stance against homophobia and make it clear that LGBTQ students can feel safe on campus.
Regardless of how you identify, everyone should stand up for equality.
What you can do:
- Sign the petition at chn.ge/banchickfila
- Join “Ban Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A from New York University” on Facebook to get involved. There we will post info about events and organizing meetings. If what you read makes you wanna take action (it worked for us!) come to organizing meetings to share ideas and hear ideas. The more people are fighting for this, the more people we can reach until NYU has no choice.
- Hold your student senators and NYU administrators accountable for the enduring presence of Chick-fil-A
- Spread awareness of Chick-fil-A’s homophobic practices and the campaign to ban it from NYU
- Rally outside the Kimmel Center on Thursday March 8th at 4pm, where John Sexton and SCC will be meeting and probably not discussing this issue. Or meet us beforehand outside Silver School of Social Work on Washington Square North at 3:30. From there we will go together to rally outside Kimmel and determine further action.