The University of Kansas has become the latest battlefield in the anti-Chick-fil-A war, with calls from members of the faculty to remove the top-rated fast-food restaurant in the country for being a “bastion of bigotry.”
Chick-fil-A has been on the Lawrence campus for over a decade, but the Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council expressed “outrage” in a letter to school administrators that the chain has been moved to “prime real estate” in the student union.
And also disconcerting to the council is the fact that Jayhawks home football games now feature the “Chick-fil-A Coin Toss.”
The diversity council letter recounts that Chick-fil-A, through its foundation, has contributed to pro-traditional marriage organizations such as the Family Research Council and Exodus International, which worked with those seeking to break free from the homosexual lifestyle.
The letter also quotes Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, who during the heat of the 2012 same-sex marriage debate, said, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'”
The council goes on to argue the embrace of Chick-fil-A stands in contrast of KU’s stated goal of promoting diversity.
“Despite our denouncements and the university’s own moves to increase the campus’s diversity, equity, and inclusion, KU granted Chick-fil-A, a bastion of bigotry, a prime retail location in the heart of our campus. … The arrival of Chick-fil-A in this building is insulting, counterproductive, and unacceptable,” the letter reads.
The Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty Staff Council released a statement Monday morning denouncing the University of Kansas’ recent moves to “deepen its relationship with Chick-fil-A.”https://t.co/9XSMxBQW1F
— University Daily Kansan (@KansanNews) August 28, 2019
“The Union houses spaces that the KU community designates as safe and accepting — not least of which are the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity,” it says.
The council argues that allowing Chick-fil-A to be located in the student union and sponsor the football coin toss “sends a message that the Union, KU Athletics, and the administration at large are more concerned about money and corporate sponsorship than the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of marginalized and LGBTQ people.”
The letter concludes calling for both these actions to immediately be reversed and for administrators not to renew Chick-fil-A’s contract with the university when it expires and find “a replacement vendor that better reflects our KU values.”
The Kansas City Star reported KU receives $60,000 per year in leasing fees to house Chick-fil-A.
The school’s interim provost told the news outlet the reason the chain was moved from the lower-visibility location in the basement of Wescoe Hall — a classroom and office building — to the union was to save $2.6 million in upgrades that would have been required per its contract with Chick-fil-A.
Further, the university’s athletic department is the direct beneficiary of the “Chick-fil-A Coin Toss” sponsorship deal, the amount of which the school did not reveal.
If the diversity council were truly interested in diversity, it would not be threatened by Chick-fil-A’s presence on campus.
Instead, it could make the case that students should not patronize the chain, and they could decide. Restaurants that lose money don’t last long.
The chain made clear in a July 2012 statement, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Chick-fil-A further affirmed its commitment to treat “every person with honor, dignity and respect.”
The chain’s corporate purpose is: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
That sounds pretty much like the Golden Rule, and that is something everyone ought to find not only acceptable but honorable.
“Eat mor chikin” or don’t, but stop trying to use political correctness to bludgeon people into conformity.
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