A university in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, announced it has nixed Chick-fil-A from the list of considerations for a new on-campus restaurant because of the popular eatery’s “record.”
Initially, administrators at Rider University asked students to take a survey to determine which restaurant would end up on campus, but the school decided to pull Chick-fil-A from the running because the fast-food favorite is “widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, president of Rider, announced the decision in a letter sent Nov. 23. The determination to pull Chick-fil-A “required a difficult assessment of competing interests,” he wrote.
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“We sought to be thoughtful and fair in balancing the desire to provide satisfying options for a new on-campus restaurant while also being faithful to our values of inclusion,” the letter read.
Dell’Omo admitted many might see the university’s rejection of Chick-fil-A “as being just another form of exclusion.’ He argued, though, that just isn’t the case.
For any @RiderUniversity student looking for a @ChickfilA, here are three nearby options https://t.co/Rh9Sns6LCn pic.twitter.com/PXKiB2BPzt
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) November 27, 2018
“We want to be clear that this was not the spirit in which the decision was made,” he wrote. “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.”
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The reality, though, is that Dell’Omo and his counterparts are misinformed.
Chick-fil-A has never embraced any discriminatory policies. The entire backlash is linked to a comment Dan Cathy, the restaurant’s CEO, made in 2012, when he said he personally believed marriage is a Christian institution between one man and one woman.
“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” he told Baptist Press at the time.
A couple of years later, in 2014, Cathy said during an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that sharing his stance on marriage was probably not the best business decision. While he has not changed his position on the matter, Cathy regretted “making the company a symbol in the marriage debate.”