RALEIGH, N.C. — After provoking ire from LGBT activists and bloggers over their donations to anti-gay groups and causes, restaurant chain Chick-fil-A might soon find itself without at home at two North Carolina universities.

Duke University is in the process of reviewing their relationship with the restaurant, reports Nubian Message. Some students at N.C. State University are also discussing whether to push for Chick-fil-A’s ouster from their campus. Students at nine colleges and universities across the country have ramped up efforts to see the restaurant banned from their campuses.

The brouhaha began in February when Chick-fil-A decided to provide food for a marriage seminar for a leading anti-gay organization in Pennsylvania. Jeremy Hooper of GoodAsYou.org also uncovered millions of dollars in donations to anti-gay causes by Chick-fil-A’s non-profit arm, the WinShape Foundation.

When the restaurant was successfully removed from Indiana University South Bend, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy released a written statement distancing his company from the anti-gay group.

“Providing food to these events or any event is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance or motives of this or any other organization,” stated Cathy.

Cathy continued, “We will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family. This decision has been made, and we understand the importance of it. At the same time, we will continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families. To do anything different would be inconsistent with our purpose and belief in Biblical principles.’”

Justine Hollingshead, director for N.C. State University’s GLBT Programs and Services, has indicated that there is talk among a variety of student groups on how the university should handle this situation. She feels that students, who have buying power, should have the last word on whether the establishment ought to be given the green light to stay or be asked to exit.

Kelley Brackett, public communication specialist for N.C. State University dining and catering operations, told The Technician that the Chick-fil-A on campus has avoided significant criticism.

“We cannot speak for the Chick-fil-A corporation, but we haven’t seen any backlash from the recent controversy,” Brackett said.

The university is a franchise owner of one Chick-fil-A location on campus and will add another this spring.

Brackett also stressed that N.C. State University’s dining services remain open to everyone in the university community.

“University Dining welcomes all students, faculty and staff into all of our locations. We also welcome anyone to apply to work at our locations. University Dining in no way discriminates against sexual preference, religious preference, race or gender,” Brackett said. “Chick-fil-A has always been one of our most popular locations and remains one of our most visited retail operations.”

— Matt Comer contributed to this report. Photo credit: A Surroca, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.


Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.