The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

In defense of the Chick-fil-A boycott

(Cloud Gamble)

Chick-fil-A, with its delicious waffle fries, classic chicken sandwiches, and iconic advertising campaign, is a favorite destination for many college students. Recently, however, students across the United States have asked that Chick-fil-A be removed from their college campuses as part of a larger boycott.

Last month, the restaurant chain came under fire for sponsoring a conference opposing marriage equality as well as for ongoing ties to anti-gay groups such as Focus on the Family. While the corporation insists that they do not discriminate against LGBT people, the paper trail says otherwise. And for an institution so value-driven, it makes no sense for them to contribute to a cause they claim to not believe in.

I fully respect Chick-fil-A’s right to run their business based on their values. However, there’s a thick line between holding beliefs and acting on them, especially when those actions include working to take civil rights away from an already stigmatized group of people.

This transition from belief to action lies at the heart of the Chick-fil-A boycott, led by members and allies of LGBT communities.

It’s an extreme oversimplification to say that the uproar caused by the news of Chick-fil-A’s funding choices has to do with their Christian roots. This isn’t about religion. Homophobia transcends all creeds, races, and nationalities. It’s as broad and diverse as the standard of the queer community — the rainbow flag.

Reducing the argument down to Chick-fil-A’s Christian roots also ignores the fact that there are plenty of deeply devoted queer and allied Christians. Not all Christians are homophobic, and not everyone against gay rights is Christian.

All too often, homosexuality and Christianity are seen as irreconcilable opposing forces. This simply isn’t true; and this notion harms all involved, especially LGBT people who must constantly reconcile and defend their sexuality and faith.

I may not be Christian, but that doesn’t mean I automatically disagree with most of Chick-fil-A’s practices. Any business driven by a code of ethics should be greatly respected, along with their choice to close on Sundays.

However, just as they act in accordance with their beliefs, so do I. And I refuse to patronize an establishment that so boldly supports organizations actively trying to control one of the most basic rights: who a person can love.

The loss of my business won’t make much of an impact. But maybe yours will. If we all stand unified against oppression and injustice in all forms, maybe, just maybe, we will finally begin to see some real change.

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