According to South Bend television station WSBT, an LGBT group on campus petitioned IUSB to remove Chick-fil-A as a vendor after word broke that Chick-fil-A was supporting an event hosted by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, an affiliate of Focus on the Family and one of the leading anti-gay organizations in Pennsylvania. LGBT students and straight allies on campus wanted to send the message that if you support homophobia and anti-gay politics, you don't belong on the campus of IUSB.
Since the story broke that Chick-fil-A was donating to the Pennsylvania Family Institute, lots more information about the company's involvement in fighting same-sex marriage has come out into the open. We've found that Chick-fil-A's charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, holds retreats and conferences for some of the leading opponents of same-sex marriage. We've seen higher-ups at Chick-fil-A praise the work of anti-gay leaders like David Blankenhorn. And we've even seen a connection between the Web site of the Ruth Institute, an affiliate of the National Organization for Marriage, and the Web site of the WinShape Foundation. Shady ties indeed.
To top it all off, we learned yesterday that Chick-fil-A's WinShape Retreat Center won't allow "homosexual couples" to use their facilities. Combine that all together, and there's quite a bit of evidence that Chick-fil-A just doesn't value the civil rights of its LGBT customers.
And that's what has some students at IUSB speaking out against the restaurant chain. One student said that while Chick-fil-A may only be donating food to an organization like the Pennsylvania Family Institute, there's clearly a connection between the restaurant and organizations working to take away the rights of LGBT people.
"Providing food [to these types of events] is equal to donating money, so you must believe in the cause to donate the food," said IUSB junior Erin Rempala.
Check out the news segment below. Kudos to these students for holding up the values of equality and acceptance for all, and getting their University to follow suit. Now if only we could get others schools -- ahem, New York University -- to challenge the restaurant chain for their anti-gay work, that would be the ultimate ripple effect.