Letter from LGBT Alumni Regarding Chick-fil-A

August 23, 2012

Dear President Wagner:

As alumni of Emory University, we would like to formally request that the Chick-fil-A company be removed from our beloved campus.  Chick-fil-A’s ideology of hate and intolerance is not compatible with our University Mission Statement.

Judging by the homophobic words and actions of top Chick-Fil-A executives, and the $2 million donated by the company to homophobic organizations in 2010 alone, it is clear that Chick-Fil-A does not represent the values embraced by the Emory University community, and allowing such an organization to continue to operate on our campus runs counter to the spirit of equality that the University claims to champion.

The company has radically redefined itself as a divisive, political symbol.  It stands publicly against same-sex marriage and uses its profits to fund groups proudly and aggressively working against the rights of LGBT people, advocating their criminalization, psychological abuse and death. Among the chosen recipients of funds are some of the worst-of-the-worst: Exodus International, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family.

University campuses have every right to deny doing business with a food vendor, especially one that creates a divisive, potentially unsafe learning environment for students.  There is no justification for a business operating on campus that directly funds hate group activity toward a population of students represented within the campus community.

We believe it is time to take action and continue with the proud legacy of Emory as a welcoming environment for diversity and difference.  It seems ironic that in a year that the Office of LGBT Life celebrated its 20thyear on campus; LGBT alumni have been engaged in ways that have resulted in a $250,000 endowment to the Office of LGBT Life; you yourself made a video talking about Emory’s commitments and values in your  “It Gets Better” video; and the University received accolades as one of the top 25 LGBT friendly campuses, we are still mired with the kind of bigotry and hate that emanates from this corporation.

If we do nothing, we are just as guilty as if we had made contributions to those hate groups directly.

We urge you to consider the immediate removal of Chick-fil-A from Emory University.

Respectfully,

Lilly Correa (’73C) and Ryan Roche (’03Ox, ’05C)

Co-Chairs, GALA:  Emory LGBT Alumni