After Rider University blocked them from becoming a potential on-campus food provider at due to anti-LGBTQ stances, Chick-fil-A publicly stated they’re no longer anti-gay. The problem with that statement is that it’s absolutely false.
Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., has taken a stand against the chicken chain Chick-fil-A because of the company’s well-documented anti-LGBTQ stance and stated that despite the chicken restaurant’s popularity with students who were polled, the university won’t even consider allowing one on campus.
Chick-fil-A previously topped the list of chain restaurants Rider students who were surveyed would like to see brought to campus, but university officials removed it from a subsequent survey, New Jersey radio station WKXW reports.
In a joint letter to students last week, Rider president Gregory G. Dell’Omo and vice president for student affairs Leanna Fenneberg said,”Chick-fil-A was removed as one of the options based on the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.”
“We understand that some may view the decision as being just another form of exclusion. We want to be clear that this was not the spirit in which the decision was made,” they added. “We fully acknowledge an organization’s right to hold these beliefs, just as we acknowledge the right for individuals in our community and elsewhere to also personally hold the same beliefs.”
Chick-fil-A didn’t take this lightly.
In a statement released by a corporate attorney, they stated:
“Rider University’s survey was recently brought to our attention, and while we respect the University’s decision, this news story represents a good opportunity to clarify misperceptions about our brand. Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality, and our restaurants and licensed locations on college campuses welcome everyone. We have no policy of discrimination against any group, and we do not have a political or social agenda. More than 120,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand.”
This statement is disingenuous, at best.
Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBTQ history has very little to do with direct discrimination against LGBTQ employees or customers. Their statement noting as much ignores their history of funneling millions in profits to anti-LGBTQ causes and organizations that seek to curtail and roll back LGBTQ civil rights here and abroad. Some of the more odious organizations they’ve historically funded include Exodus International and the Family Research Council.
As of their last publicly released annual statement, they were still donating to lesser known anti-LGBTQ organizations.
This is despite Dan Cathy’s vow to stop donating to all anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2015.
The three largest anti-LGBTQ organizations they still donate to are:
- The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) – which imparts ‘Christian’ teachings on athletes with an anti-LGBTQ religious twist.
- The Paul Anderson Youth Home – a “transformative organization” operating as a “Christian residential home for troubled youth.” Their teachings include the belief that the “sexual, physical, and mental abuse of children, mostly in the alleged ‘safety’ of their own homes has produced all kinds of evil throughout the culture to include the explosion of homosexuality in the last century.”
- The Salvation Army – which should be self explanatory at this point. In case it isn’t, ThinkProgress reminded everyone in their summary that the “religious organization has a long history of anti-LGBTQ housing discrimination, opposition to same-sex marriage equality, and supporting exemptions from non-discrimination ordinances.”
When we reported on their most recent (2016) return earlier this year, we noted:
- In 2015, Chick-fil-A donated more than $1 million to CFA, $200,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and approximately $130,000 to the Salvation Army.
- In 2016, they donated just under $1 million to CFA, approximately $130 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and just under $150,000 to the Salvation Army.
Which is to say, Chick-fil-A is definitely still funneling profits to anti-LGBTQ causes.
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