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University students block Chick-fil-A from student center over anti-gay donations

Friday, March 2, 2012
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BOSTON — Students at Northeastern University have blocked fast-food chain Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant on its Boston campus, citing the chains financial support of anti-gay rights organizations.

Less than two weeks after announcing Northeastern was in talks to bring a Chick-fil-A to campus, university administrators announced the Georgia-based chain would not be included in plans to renovate the food court in the student center, reported The Huntington News, the university’s student newspaper.

The decision came in response to votes denouncing the plan by both the Student Government Association (SGA) and Graduate Student Government (GSG). The proposal caused controversy on campus after students learned that Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy’s WinShape Foundation has donated millions of dollars to groups that lobby against gay marriage.

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SGA voted 31 to 5 on Monday to declare its disapproval of a Chick-fil-A on campus. GSG took similar action earlier that day.

The action by the student government groups comes in response to a November 2011 report by Equality Matters that revealed Chick-fil-A donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2009.

According to the Equality Matters report, in 2009 alone, the WinShape Foundation — Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, distributed $1,733,699 among seven anti-gay groups, including the Marriage And Family Legacy Fund, Exodus International, and two groups identified as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law CenterFocus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

Exodus International is one of the world’s largest promoters of “ex-gay” therapy. Focus on the Family and the FRC have earned their “hate groups” designation for promoting known falsehoods about the LGBT community, including FRC’s claim that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem.”

“The majority of senators felt, in light of Chick-fil-A’s financial support for groups advocating against gay rights and marriage, that it was not appropriate to invite Chick-fil-A onto campus,” said student government President Margaret Keaveny.

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