Students and administrators at Northeastern University agree that rejecting plans to bring Chick-fil-A as a vendor to campus was the right call. The fast food chain’s history of giving millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations simply does not align with the inclusive values the school prides itself on. But Chick-fil-A is bitter to have been dropped, and is now trying to misrepresent its well-documented reputation for opposing LGBT rights.
Calling Northeastern’s decision “hasty,” Chick-fil-A’s spokesperson claims the company is totally inclusive and has “no political agenda”:
The most important thing we need to confirm is that we are not anti-anybody and Chick-fil-A have [sic] no agenda, policy or position against anyone as some reports continue to represent. Here’s the clarification and correction. Chick-fil-A has been scrutinized of late about our charitable giving, specifically through our WinShape Foundation, and whether or not we have some hidden political agenda. We don’t. Our agenda is simple: to graciously serve great food and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A. This is the reason why we were initially invited to the campus.
The statement goes on to claim that the company’s donations have been labeled as “anti-gay” merely for being affiliated with faith-based organizations, but this is a sad attempt to hide behind religion. The donations are called “anti-gay” because they quite certainly are anti-gay. As Equality Matters has reported, Chick-fil-A’s WinShape foundation has given millions of dollars to organizations that oppose marriage equality (Marriage and Family Legacy Fund, Family Research Council), bully gay students (Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Focus on the Family), and promote harmful ex-gay therapy (Exodus International). In addition, the company has a score of 0 on HRC’s corporate equality index, offering absolutely no protections to LGBT staff and even firing employees who engage in “sinful” behavior. Compare that to how many Fortune 100 companies offer non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation (94 percent) and gender identity (69 percent).
Northeastern was perfectly justified to oppose bringing Chick-fil-A to campus. That the company would respond by whining and deceitfully misrepresenting itself proves the point.