A group of faculty at the University of Kansas wants Chick-fil-A to pack up its things and go.
In a letter to the chancellor and other administrators of the Lawrence college, professors in its Sexuality and Gender Diversity program wrote to express their “extreme frustration” with the school’s decision to “deepen its relationship” with the evangelical chicken chain in recent months. Their entreaty takes issue with the fact that Chick-fil-A has been permitted to move to “new, bigger, more central locations on campus in recent months.”
Noting the company's history of donating to anti-LGBTQ+ groups, faculty urged the University of Kansas not to renew its contract with Chick-fil-A, calling it a “bastion of bigotry.”
“While many Christians are supportive of the LGBTQ community and many are members themselves, the culture of Chick-fil-A fosters hate and discrimination on multiple levels,” the professors write. “In short, Chick-Fil-A on KU’s campus stands in direct contrast to the university’s mission of fostering a multicultural, inclusive environment.”
Over the past decade, Chick-fil-A has repeatedly given money to organizations which oppose full equality for LGBTQ+ people. It has donated millions to Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the latter of which spearheaded the repeal of same-sex marriage in California during Prop. 8. Although it pledged to stop giving to anti-LGBTQ+ groups, a March report from ThinkProgress revealed Chick-fil-A donated $1.7 million to the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Paul Anderson Youth Home in 2018.
The company’s charitable giving led the San Antonio City Council to ban Chick-fil-A from its local airport earlier this year, but that decision was effectively reversed with the passage of a statewide “religious freedom” law.
More recently, the Staten Island Yankees announced they would no longer do business with Chick-fil-a following protest from the local LGBTQ+ community.
While professors note that University of Kansas doesn’t have the ability to immediately disavow Chick-fil-a because of “contractual obligations,” the Sexuality and Gender Diversity staff called upon students and faculty to no longer frequent the campus location while the restaurant’s contract expires. The letter did not specify when that date will be.
“[W]e will urge our members and allies to speak with our dollars as well as our words, and boycott the restaurant,” they said. “We look forward to educating the larger KU community about Chick-fil-A and working with KU to find a replacement vendor that better reflects our KU values.”