A petition from Change.org wants the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Youngstown State University (YSU) shut down, claiming that all that “homophobic” chicken just “adds to the negative experience of LGBT students.”
As Campus Reform reports, the petition has support among faculty, with one professor calling the fast-food establishment “fried food for homophobes.”
“I am a professor at YSU. I have not set foot up there since they became Chick-fil-A. A long time ago it used to be a respectable place where you could take an invited speaker out to lunch and even have table service. We now have no such place and I will not support Fried Food for Homophobes, which is what I think of Chick-fil-A,” said Heather Lorimer, an associate professor in genetics at YSU.
“Chick-fil-a is well known for its CEO’s bigotry,” Lorimer told Campus Reform. “Since it has been Chick-fil-A I have not set a foot in it.”
The petition strongly objects to Chick-fil-A being “the only place to get food in the evenings” on campus and won’t accept any apologies from the restaurant for past statements because the it “still donating money to anti-LGBT organizations.”
Citing the “very low campus pride rating” that YSU supposedly earned with its three star rating, the petition explains that the Campus Pride Index is “a vital tool for assisting campuses in learning ways to improve their LGBTQ campus life and ultimately shape the educational experience to be more inclusive, welcoming and respectful of LGBTQ and ally people.”
Moreover, the university is allegedly guilty of providing few services for transgender students who want to get “their names changed in the system” or live “in appropriate dorms.” The petition reminds its readers that YSU has notoriously “allowed anti-LGBT speakers on campus and did nothing about it when students complained.”
Finally, the petition admits that closing down Chick-fil-A might not “change the company’s view or anything but it would be an act of solidarity for the campus’s LGBT students.”
The author of this extended critique is Emmett Ray, who specified that he was talking about “preachers with big signs condemning LGBT people” when he referenced the anti-LGBT speakers. Ray suggests university should “kick them out when people report them.”
Ray told Campus Reform that the issue is simple for him: “Chick-Fil-A is notoriously run by homophobes.”
Though the petition has garnered the support of some students and the faculty member quoted above, a lot of the response has been critical.
One respondent dismissed the petition as “the worst thing I’ve ever read.”
Another promised to “start a petition to close every Whole Foods if I lose the YSU Chick-fil-A.”