Thursday, January 27, 2011

Boycott Chick-fil-A at GWU

I have written in the past of Chick-fil-A's homophobic tendencies.  The restaurant chain proudly supports Focus on the Family, an anti-gay organization that sponsors the "ex-gay" ministry, Love Won Out.  FoF is responsible for such statements as “homosexuality will destroy the earth” and “gay marriage will lead to marriage between daddies and little girls."

Every day, it seems that Chick-fil-A's ties to the anti-gay right become more and more defined.  They catered an event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, an affiliate of FoF and one of the leading anti-gay orgs in Pennsylvania.  They have sponsored events featuring FoF, the American Family Association and the Family Research Council.  Their charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, has deep and direct ties to the National Organization for Marriage, the Institute for American Values, and Exodus International.

FoF, AFA, FRC, NOM, IAV, Exodus International... These are some of the most infamously anti-gay organizations in this country, pillars of the "protect marriage" movement, and all of them have direct ties to Chick-fil-A.  There is video evidence of these connections.

Additionally, the WinShape Retreat Center, owned and operated by affiliates of Chick-fil-A, expressly states that they do not allow gay couples to use their facilities. 

Chick-fil-A's homophobia - to the point of blatant discrimination - could not be made any clearer.  And they are operating in our school, and profiting off our students.

The GWU dining hall, J Street, contains a Chic-fil-A.  It is a small establishment, but it does a good business.  In light of Chick-fil-A's long history of anti-gay behavior and deep ties to other anti-gay groups, I strongly urge all GWU students and faculty to boycott Chick-fil-A indefinitely.  Such a radical organization should not be getting a single dollar from the tolerant, accepting community of GWU, especially when we know that money is going to fall into the hands of the likes of FoF and NOM.

I further call on President Knapp and the GW Student Association to eliminate Chick-Fil-A from J Street. This should not have a profound effect on our contract with Sodexo, as we can fill the space with another Sodexo-partnered institution that does not support such adamantly anti-gay organizations.

Other schools have begun to do this already: the Indiana University South Bend campus has removed Chic-fil-A after being petitioned by its LGBT student org and straight allies.  IU South Bend is the first school to take this step, but I expect it will not be the last.

I call on the GWU community to do everything it can - through boycott and through petition - to eliminate Chick-fil-A's presence from our campus.  This is a step we can take - a step we must take - to show the entire nation that ours is a school that supports all members of its community, including our LGBT students and faculty.

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