People who love Gainesville, Florida know that we’re a community defined by our support of human rights. Our current mayor, Craig Lowe, is an out gay man who represents our commitment to tolerance and social welfare. Gainesville is also home to the University of Florida, which is attended by almost 50,000 students. Our student body is both a powerful voice in the community and a large, attractive demographic for retailers.
This week, president of Chick-fil-A restaurant Dan Cathy made his, and his company’s, perspective on gay marriage explicit. In an interview, Mr. Cathy was quoted as saying that his company is “guilty as charged” in opposition to same sex marriage. Chick-fil-A, Inc. has donated millions of dollars to multiple groups with anti-gay agendas.
Mr. Cathy was also quoted as saying the following:
"We are very much supportive of the family--the biblical definition of the family unit...We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
"As it relates to society in general I think we're inviting God's judgement on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage...And I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what a marriage is about."
As a town with a historically progressive stance on LGBT issues, we urge you to, like Mr. Dan Cathy, also exercise your right to make your views public by asking the University of Florida to not renew their contract with Chick-fil-A as a campus food retailer, but instead allow a company that doesn't go against UF's anti-discrimination policy (pdf) to operate out of this location.
Join us in showing Chick-fil-A that Gainesville and the University of Florida do not support bigotry in our community.