As most of you are aware of by now, BGSU’s Undergraduate and Graduate Student Governments recently voted to remove Chick-fil-A from the list of possible replacements for Wendy’s in the student union next year because some students were offended by the company being allegedly “anti-gay.”
However, I feel that a rash decision may have been made without considering all of the facts.
It seems to me that most of the discussion surrounding this issue was over whether or not an anti-gay company should be allowed on-campus.
For the most part, I side with the University. I don’t think a prejudiced entity should have a place here at BGSU.
There’s just one problem with their reasoning though: Chick-fil-A is not anti-gay.
There have been a lot of discussion points thrown around using this ambiguous term “anti-gay,” but it appears there has been very little effort to determine what this actually means or why Chick-fil-A has been labeled as such.
Here are the basics: it came to light in several news sources earlier this year that WinShape, Chick-fil-A’s charitable organization, had given close to $2 million to organizations that were allegedly anti-gay. But did anyone take the time to find out who these organizations were and why they were being labeled anti-gay?
One would think that a claim so severe would be thoroughly investigated before it was taken into consideration.
I did my own research and found the donation breakdown.
Of the $1,733,699 given by Chick-fil-A, $1,714,199 was given to three organizations: The Marriage & Family Legacy Fund (part of Marriage CoMission), The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and The National Christian Foundation.
Of these three organizations, none of them can truly be said to have an anti-gay agenda.
The only thing about them that can be considered anti-gay is that they are all Christian-run organizations; so, because of their religious beliefs they naturally don’t promote homosexuality. But outside of that, no part of their mission involves actively battling gay rights.
If you don’t believe me, check out their websites for yourself.
The other four companies Chick-fil-A donated to: Focus on the Family, Eagle Forum, Exodus International and The Family Research Council, all could be said to have anti-gay agendas. They also only received a combined $19,500 out of $1,733,699, around 1 percent.
Ninety-nine percent of this giving went to organizations whose only fault is being part of a religion that considers homosexuality a sin.
Does this really equate to being anti-gay? “Anti-gay” seems to be a far stronger term that implies an active and aggressive stance against homosexuality and gay rights, while these companies seem to have little to no involvement in the gay agenda.
The same term shouldn’t be used to describe the Westboro Baptist Church and also an organization like NCF that gives millions each year to poverty relief, education and humanitarian efforts. When you do that, the term becomes far too ambiguous.
An even better question is why would Chick-fil-A be considered anti-gay for supporting them? In the end, that logic is completely flawed.
Saying Chick-fil-A is anti-gay for donating to a religious organization is like saying someone supports domestic violence because they paid to see a Mel Gibson movie.
So my question is this: why were these claims not investigated before they were used to make a decision?
Why was all this discussion about whether an anti-gay company should be allowed on-campus, and not about if the company was actually anti-gay or not?
In light of this information, it seems the only thing Chick-fil-A is guilty of is being pro-Christian. Wouldn’t punishing them for this just be another form of discrimination? Isn’t that the very thing we’re trying to eliminate?
I understand the University wanting to stand against an anti-gay company, but failing to consider the facts made this decision anti-intellectual, not anti-discriminatory.
It seems the decision was made based largely on faulty assumptions about Chick-fil-A’s charitable work, meaning a hasty conclusion was drawn to avoid association with a company that was unfairly labeled.
I’m not saying Chick-fil-A should be welcomed here next year, but I believe it was unfair to remove them from consideration without having a clear and balanced understanding of their alleged offenses.
Respond to Rob Furia at