By Nicholas Sisk.
Recently an article was posted claiming that NSU’s partnership with Chick-fil-A was “just another slap in the face” to the campus’s queer students and staff.
The most incriminating claim against the company that the article uses to attack the new restaurant is that the company’s tax-exempt foundation has continued to donate to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations.
According to tax filings, in 2017, the foundation donated $1,541,459 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $146,688 to the Salvation Army and $132,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home Inc. The thing that all of these “anti-queer organizations” have in common is the fact that they are religious groups. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes states on their website that they believe that “God instituted marriage between one man and one woman.”
Private institutions can have religious beliefs be a part of their institution. These groups are in fact no harm to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
What the author does not mention is that Chick-fil-A has never denied service to LGBTQ+ people. Surely, there would be more uproar from almost everyone if they had. Yes, they used to donate to political organizations that were not pro LGBTQ+. However, these donations have ceased to exist.
It is important to let these private businesses have their own religious beliefs. If we were to allow the government to step in and force these private businesses to not have their principles, then we would be discriminating against one group for the sake of “equality.” We would also be forsaking one of our most important amendments, the first.
The author goes on to state that the university made “no attempt to reach out to us or hear our concerns.” Once again this is another inaccurate statement. Students of NSU were able to voice their concerns at the SGA meetings which are currently held Monday at 6 p.m. in the Cane River Room.
If this were an issue, they would have brought it up at the meetings to try and get something changed. According to SGA’s Orgsync page, that is the group’s purpose, to serve as a “liaison between the Student Body and the Administration, and recommend any desirable change concerning any aspect of student life.” The way the author speaks about this issue makes it seem like it was concerning to the student life of members of the LGBTQ+ community. So why was this not voiced before the Chick-fil-A was opened?
The author then continues by talking about Louisiana being a battleground state for LGBTQ+ people. I have no knowledge of Louisiana’s laws on the LGBTQ+ community as I am from Texas. However, I will say that even without these protections, I have not heard of a person being fired simply for the fact that they were a part of that community.
In fact, why would a member of the community want to work for someone who is willing to fire them for some part of their existence they didn’t get to choose?
If you agree with the dissenting opinion that the Chick-fil-A was an attack on the LGBTQ+ community, then there is one simple solution, don’t support it, don’t give it your money. That is how the free market works. No one is forcing you to eat at a restaurant that you believe doesn’t support your existence, but as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I see no problem with Chick-fil-A and the groups it chooses to donate to.