It should not surprise anyone that a company that sells chicken using cows would also claim to be a Christian-principled family business and then take profits to fund hate groups. The real issue at hand is not freedom of speech or same-sex marriage but Chick-fil-A's secretive funding of documented anti-gay hate groups. The national organization Campus Pride made this clear last week in releasing "5 Simple Facts About Chick-fil-A." Campus Pride specifically called upon our nation's student leaders to share the truth about Chick-fil-A and its funding of radical-right-wing organizations and documented hate groups.
Through its family-controlled nonprofit arm, Chick-fil-A profits have funded such groups as Eagle Forum, Exodus International, Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family. These groups proudly and aggressively work against the rights of LGBT people, advocating their criminalization, psychological abuse, and death. Chick-fil-A has not disputed any of these facts. The "5 Simple Facts About Chick-fil-A" are well documented, showing the funneling of Chick-fil-A profits to anti-gay causes and even a hate group, as determined by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
While Chick-fil-A's leadership has every right to its views, beliefs, and voice, students and administrators alike need to know that revenues going to Chick-fil-A drive funding for groups that are almost certainly in conflict with campus nondiscrimination policies. There is no justification for Chick-fil-A to be on a college campus where there is a responsibility by administrators for a safe learning environment for all students. The actions by Chick-fil-A in taking profits to fund hate groups that harm a population on campus impedes safety and creating a learning environment for academic success.
Thanks to the president of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, the cow façade has been lifted to show what is really behind the billboards and spicy chicken sandwiches. Good people, Christian or not, don't use their corporate profits to fund hate groups or causes that work to defame, criminalize, and execute people.
Colleges and universities have a real problem on their hands in the next few weeks as students come back to campus. You can't just tell students who disagree to not eat the chicken sandwich; that message is irresponsible and harmful to LGBT students. Colleges have to take responsibility for the facts and realize that student-meal-plan money is going to fund a documented hate group that works to aggressively harm students on their campus. This will certainly affect the safety and campus climate of all students.
Read the "5 Simple Facts About Chick-fil-A." Campus Pride calls on student leaders and campus newspapers to share that:
- Chick-fil-A profits fund documented hate groups that aggressively work against LGBT people, advocating for their criminalization, psychological abuse, or death.
- Chick-fil-A profits support the radical-right-wing group Eagle Forum, which supports LGBT people being considered criminals.
- Chick-fil-A profits support Exodus International, which claims to "cure homosexuality" through psychological coercion of LGBT people. It says LGBT people are "perverse."
- Chick-fil-A profits support Focus on the Family (FOF) and its off-shoot group, the Family Research Council (FRC), which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. FOF aggressively defames LGBT people as a threat to children, and FRC spent $25,000 to stop the U.S. Congress from condemning Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill, which calls for the execution of gay people in some cases.
- Chick-fil-A profits come from you. When you choose Chick-fil-A, you help fund hate groups.
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2003
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2004
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2005
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2006:
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2007
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2008
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2009
- Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation 990 from 2010
- July 2, 2012 Equality Matters Fact Check
- GuideStar: Chick-fil-A's WinShape Foundation Inc. Profile
- Southern Poverty Law Center's Hate Group Profile on the Family Research Council
- Southern Poverty Law Center list of documented hate groups operating out of Washington, D.C., including the Family Research Council, which receives donations from Chick-fil-A
Follow Shane L. Windmeyer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ShaneWindmeyer