From Petition Creator Dr. Scott Ferguson:
"According to Chicago alderman, Joe Moreno, and the advocacy group, Civil Rights Agenda, Chick-fil-A has agreed to stop funding anti-LGBT rights groups as well as to distribute an internal memo to employees titled, “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are,” which affirms the company’s commitment to a discrimination-free workplace. As a result, Moreno will no longer block the corporation’s plans to open a store in the city of Chicago. Conspicuously, Chick-fil-A has yet to engage the public directly or release the documents at issue for examination. This secretive conduct is consistent with the corporation’s behind-the-scenes donation practices, out-of-court discrimination suit settlements, and recent closed-door meeting with college groups in Atlanta. Time will tell whether Chick-fil-A intends to uphold their new-found devotion to civil rights. In the meantime, the petition to remove the company from the USF Marshall Center will be suspended in light of the company’s purported shift in policy. For this reason, I would like to thank the petition’s 840 signers as well as its countless additional advocates for their commitment and support. I also promise this: the USF petition will be immediately reinstated if Chick-fil-A fails to uphold its new policy aims. Alderman Moreno has declared Chick-fi-A’s change of heart a “victory.” If it is a step forward, however, it is not Chick-fil-A who deserves acclaim, but a critically engaged public. Thank you. Sincerely, Dr. Scott Ferguson"
Inspired by similar efforts at college campuses across the United States, this petition aims to censure Chick-fil-A's discriminatory practices against the LGBT community as well as to foster a more diverse and just campus life at the University of South Florida.
Chick-fil-A currently serves thousands of students a year at the University of South Florida. However, the company has spoken openly against LGBT equality and consistently funded groups that seek to curb LGBT rights. In fact, Chick-fil-A has donated over $5 million dollars to anti-gay organizations between 2003 - 2010, supporting groups such as Focus On The Family, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council.
For more information, you can read these news stories:
As a campus that stands for diversity and inclusion, the University of South Florida should not fund a company that supports anti-equality measures. LGBT rights are human rights and no university should cooperate with a group that is openly against human rights. By removing the Chick-fil-A vendor from the Marshall Center, the USF community will affirm its commitment to all of its members.
All are welcome to sign. However, if you are a USF student, staff, or faculty member, please include your full name and the reason why you are signing.
Dr. Scott Ferguson
Department of Humanities & Cultural Studies
University of South Florida
* The above language has been adapted from Peggy Hay's University of Louisville petition (see http://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-louisville-food-services-please-remove-chick-fil-a-from-the-sac).