When Texas Christian University students return next fall, they’ll be greeted by a shiny new Chick-fil-A on campus — and many LGBT students and alumni and supporters are not happy about it.
In May, school officials announced that the 1873 Restaurant would be converted into the fast food chicken chain. A statement on TCU’s website said the decision was based on student feedback, and “The University has responded to the students’ request by bringing Chick-fil-A to campus beginning Fall 2013.” Some students started a Facebook page called Bring Chick-fil-A to TCU, which has 541 “likes.”
Alumni Todd Camp, chairman and co-founder of Q Cinema, said the decision is a slap in the face to the LGBT community because of the timing of the move.
“As a private university, TCU had the rare opportunity after a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision to do the right thing and go with another fast food franchise, as a show of support for their LGBT students, not to mention the many people who support them,” he told Fort Worth Weekly. “Not surprisingly, TCU failed. Instead, they chose to reward a proudly homophobic business while pretending to be oblivious to the fact that its profits would be used to fund efforts to harm those same students. I guess in TCU’s eyes, human dignity isn’t worth as much as waffle fries.”
In 2012, Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy created a firestorm when he publicly opposed same sex marriage. His comments came on the heels of reports that the restaurant’s charity funneled millions of dollars to organizations that opposed LGBT rights.
Last summer, the LGBT community was upset when TCU partnered with Chick-fil-A in a promotion encouraging its customers to wear purple, when the school announced it was joining the Big 12 Athletic Conference.
Lisa Albert, a spokeswoman for the school told The Dallas Voice she thought the controversy was “irrelevant. This was about what the students were wanting.”
She added that she understood the LGBT community’s sensitivity regarding the company, but “at the end of the day, [the company’s opinions] don’t reflect the opinions of TCU,” she said.