Chick-fil-A’s real problem
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 23:09
Despite a summer of coverage and a petition going around campus, there still seems to be confusion in the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A.
It is a fact the company president, Dan Cathy, has openly supported a “traditional marriage,” and it is the majority opinion that the company offers delicious sandwiches at reasonable prices. There is no argument on those two points.
But the controversy is not about what someone said.
It is more about what the company does and what it stands for. Chick-fil-A can voice its opinion on any topic, but it shouldn’t fund harmful and unethical organizations.
USF professor Scott Ferguson’s petition to remove Chick-fil-A from campus doesn’t concern the corporation’s freedom of speech — it’s about what the organization funds behind closed doors.
The petition states that the company has “donated over $5 million to anti-gay organizations between 2003-10” and that “the University of South Florida should not fund a company that supports anti-equality measures.”
The petition also refers to some of these organizations, such as Exodus International, which has a very clear one-sentence mission statement: Mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality.
Simply put, this is not an “equal rights” friendly organization.
Instead of being a strict corporate entity, the company regularly makes decisions on social stances, like closing every Sunday. If it wants to be equal to more families, it shouldn’t just close on Sundays, but also on Friday evenings until Saturday night for Shabbat.
No one is protesting its right to its own views. It’s the actions that are the problem.
Ferguson’s petition is not about an individual view in opposition to Cathy’s — it is a national movement to stand up for equal rights for all humans. Other campuses across the nation have similarly stood up to the discrimination, and this petition is one among many.
In this topic of petitioning, rights, and values, there should be no confusion. In the controversy, the matters at hand should be clearly defined.
It is not about a controversial comment or disagreement on lifestyle views. This controversy is about a group of human beings standing up for basic rights for equality everywhere.
Alex Rosenthal is a freshman majoring in classics.