The students of Johns Hopkins University have a message for Chick-fil-A: No, thank you.
The university’s Student Government Association approved a resolution this week saying that university officials should pick “other non-discriminatory options” and rule out any “current and future Chick-fil-A development plans” if searching for new dining vendors on campus.
In the resolution, which passed 18 to 8, the SGA stated that having a Chick-fil-A location on campus would be a “microaggression” toward the campus community, including “visiting prospective and current students, staff, faculty, and other visitors who are members of the LGBTQ community or are allies.”
According to the resolution, the SGA’s stance stems from Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy’s “decisive statements against” the LGBTQ community. Cathy is known for his anti-LGBT sentiments, rooted in his religious beliefs, which were highly publicized beginning in summer 2012, raising controversy and protest around the brand.
Responding to the 2013 Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, which ruled that it was unconstitutional for the court to not recognize same-sex marriages, Cathy tweeted, “Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies.”
The company has since changed its ways, even ceasing its donations to organizations against same-sex unions—but that has not stopped college campuses from expressing their disapproval of hosting Chick-fil-A. Students at North Carolina’s Elon University voted the franchise out in 2012, and Indiana University’s Bloomington campus did the same in January.
The resolution didn’t come in response to any plans to bring the Southern-fried chicken restaurant to the Baltimore campus—and the students’ measure is getting backlash in the conservative press. The National Review said there’s a “new spirit of intolerance” on campus that is targeting conservative Christians.
This is the second time this month that Johns Hopkins has made headlines for taking a strong stance on controversial social topics. Last week, JHU officials decided to reverse the ban on a pro-life display that has appeared at the school’s Spring Fair for decades. The display, which contains photos and models of unborn fetuses, was removed owing to fears that it contained “triggering and disturbing images and content.” The original decision, like the Chick-fil-A rejection, was intended to create a “safe place” on campus for all JHU students.
Ashley Jakubczyk is an editorial intern for TakePart.com and a graduate student at Harvard University. She has also written for Thought Catalog,The Daily Bruin,The Daily Breeze, and Peninsula People magazine. takepart.com