The founders of Chick-fil-A, the Cathy family, have been outspoken in their support of Republican social conservatives and have won praise from religious right for keeping its doors shut on Sundays.
Now students at Indiana University South Bend have filed a formal complaint against the university's Chancellor, alleging the Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus violated vendor policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
"Students have come forward today to file formal discrimination complaints within the Judicial Affairs office of the university against the university's Chancellor, Una Mae Reck," said Jason A. Moreno, a spokesperson for the students.
Chick-Fil-A, has 1,550 locations in 39 states, and is accused of having deep financial ties to national organizations that oppose marriage equality and LGBT rights. According to an investigation by the progressive blog EqualityMatters, the restaurant chain's charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to anti-LGBT organizations, including the Alliance Defense Fund and Family Research Council.
A petition to remove Chick-fil-A from the Indiana University South Bend campus started by Moreno at Change.org has received over 8,000 signatures.
The president of Chick-fil-A has insisted that the company is not anti-gay, but is merely operating a business according to Biblical principles and supporting healthy families.
"We have no agenda against anyone," Dan Cathy, President and COO of the restaurant chain, said in a statement from January.
"At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions."
He added that Chick-fil-A had a long history of encouraging and strengthening marriages, but had decided not to "champion any political agendas on marriage and family."
"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."
Chic-Fil-A's political agenda first crossed my radar on April 15, 2009 when the resturaunt supported the TEA PARTY by offering a free medium iced tea. with purchace.
TARGET learned the hard way about the pitfalls of corporations supporting political candidates and orginizations. In that case, Target took heat for supporting an orginization that backed a gubernatorial candidate opposed to gay rights. While this is prefectly legal for corporations to do, it doesn't mean that consumers will find it to be acceptable.