Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., has taken a stand against the chicken chain Chick-fil-A because of the company’s well-documented anti-LGBTQ stance and stated that despite the chicken restaurant’s popularity with students who were polled, the university won’t even consider allowing one on campus.
Chick-fil-A previously topped the list of chain restaurants Rider students who were surveyed would like to see brought to campus, but university officials removed it from a subsequent survey, New Jersey radio station WKXW reports.
"Chick-fil-A was removed as one of the options based on the company's record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community,” Rider president Gregory G. Dell’Omo and vice president for student affairs Leanna Fenneberg wrote in a letter to students posted Friday.
"We understand that some may view the decision as being just another form of exclusion. We want to be clear that this was not the spirit in which the decision was made," the letter read. "We fully acknowledge an organization’s right to hold these beliefs, just as we acknowledge the right for individuals in our community and elsewhere to also personally hold the same beliefs."
Chick-fil-A has a long history of donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations by the millions. The corporation, under CEO Dan Cathy, has contributed to organizations deemed hate groups including Exodus International and the Family Research Council.
Faced with criticism and boycotts of the chain, Cathy vowed he would stop donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations, but years after his promise, in 2015, Chick-fil-A donated $1 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which has a purity clause that bans “homosexual acts.”
Chick-fil-A is one of the largest American companies without an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policy and has a zero score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.