A Catholic university has turned down a proposal to install a Chick-fil-A at its campus eatery following complaints from an LGBT student group.
The proposal to set up a Chick-Fil-A in Fordham University's Ram Cafe was initially discussed in early March, the Fordham Observer reported. However, the New York City-based Catholic college rejected the proposal due to concerns raised by student groups such as the United Student Government (USG), the Commuter Students Association, the Residence Hall Association, and the Rainbow Alliance.
The Rainbow Alliance was reportedly involved in the decision-making process because of the controversy regarding the Chick-Fil-A's stance on LGBTQ issues. In 2012, the fast-food chain's owners had made a public statement expressing their opposition to same-sex marriage due to their Christian beliefs.
Chick-fil-A has offered to collaboratively run unspecified programming with the Rainbow Alliance in conjunction with the new store on campus, but the group still unanimously voted against the proposal.
"If they want to bring in Chick-Fil-A, they can bring in Chick-Fil-A," said Rainbow Alliance Co-President Renata Francesco. "But we're not going to partner with an institution, a corporation that has so strongly supported other institutions that work to destabilize and demolish movements for queer equity," she added.
Some students were also concerned that the Chick-fil-A menu options were limited. Dining Services Contract Liaison Deming Yaun said that the fast-food chain's menu did not have a lot to offer when it comes to special diets.
He noted that there are currently no alternative plans being discussed to open a national chain at the Ram Cafe.
A similar proposal has caused concern this year at Duquesne University, a Catholic college in Pittsburgh. Johns Hopkins University also rejected a proposal to bring a Chick-fil-A to its campus in 2015.
Leaders of the Rainbow Alliance saw Fordham's rejection of Chick-Fil-A as a step in the right direction, but they say that it is only a "tiny step."
"This is something that I don't want to congratulate Fordham for, like 'Oh my god, I'm so glad that you can see this. You're such a good person,'" said Rainbow Alliance Co-President Roberta Munoz.
"I don't want to pat them on the back. You can't say 'Oh you're such a great ally' when there's still so many issues with our queer students. Like great, love it, but keep going," she added.