A couple took part in National Same-Sex Kiss Day at a Silver Spring Chick-fil-A on August 3. Photo by Elvert Barnes.
Calls for boycotts at universities are common, but a group of students at the University of Maryland are taking a protest against Chick-fil-A a step further-they want the traditional-minded chicken purveyor thrown out of the student union, reports The Diamondback:
Sophomore English major Madeleine Moore has no problem with junk food, but she decided she couldn’t stomach one fast food restaurant’s long-held religious values any longer.
“If I want to buy a milkshake at Chick-fil-a, I shouldn’t have to question whether the three dollars I pay for it is going towards denying me my rights,” the Pride Alliance social chairwoman wrote in an email. “Politics don’t belong in waffle fries. It makes them taste funny.”
Moore is part of an effort to have Chick-fil-A booted from the campus, following President Dan Cathy’s declaration of opposition to same-sex marriage last month, which brought the company under further scrutiny in the media for its millions of dollars of donations to conservative Christian groups. While she wants to see a more active protest, other students and staff have turned to online petitioning to persuade Stamp Student Union officials to remove the restaurant.
The full Change.org petition is here, and it is halfway to the 1,000 signers it is asking for.
University officials don’t seem to be budging on the idea, though, saying that their contract with Chick-fil-A runs through the academic year and that the eatery is popular with students. Officials at Davidson College recently stopped serving Chick-fil-A at university events.
The debate playing out on the University of Maryland campus isn’t far removed from how it happened in the real world. While elected officials in Boston and Chicago said that they’d try and use their regulatory powers to stop Chick-fil-A from expanding in their respective cities, mayors in D.C. and New York stressed that while they opposed the restaurant’s views, there was little they could do stop them from setting up shop.
Moreover, groups like the Human Rights Campaign have protested the restaurant, but have stopped short of calling for boycotts. At a recent protest at the Chick-fil-A food truck in D.C., HRC protesters said they merely wanted hungry consumers to know where their money was going.