The “Gay Rights” petition to remove Chick-Fil-A from the University of Kansas campus stems from a belief that Chick-Fil-A is intolerant of their beliefs. The definition of tolerate is as follows: "To allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit." Recently, Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy announced that the restaurant chain supports the traditional view of marriage as between one man and one woman. While this stance may offend many, it is within Chick-Fil-A’s right to free speech, and furthermore, Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or sexuality with regard to service or employment. Therefore, Chick-Fil-A cannot be construed as an intolerant organization; rather, it simply states its beliefs in a legal and civil manner.
On the other hand, the “Gay Rights” petition, by its very nature, stands as an example of intolerance. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, and Dan Cathy was within the legal parameters of the First Amendment by stating his views, and that of the establishment, with regard to marriage. In sharp contrast, the “Gay Rights” petition moves to terminate the existence, presence, and practice of Chick-Fil-A and its business, a clear example of intolerance. Each party has the right to disagree with respect to their beliefs; it is common knowledge that America was founded upon the principles of religious freedom and respectful disagreement. However, the “Gay Rights” petition crosses the line from disagreement to intolerance in its attempt to shut down Chick-fil-A.
Chick-Fil-A has every right to support any cause they choose, just as Office Depot has every right to support 'gay marriage.' Chick-Fil-A has never refused a sandwich to a homosexual or those in support of homosexuality. Their choice to support whatever causes they believe through donations and statements is entirely within their rights. It does not produce or formulate a "hostile environment for queer youth and allies." At least, no more so than Office Depot does for those who support traditional marriage. And I see no petition to stop purchases through KU from Office Depot. If Chick-Fil-A is undeservedly banned from the campus, there will certainly not be the “diversity and inclusion” that supporters of the petition claim is so important. There will only be those who disagree with traditional marriage. While, a sizeable number of students and faculty may feel this way, it is certainly not representative of the entirety of those who make up the staff and student body of the University of Kansas. If those who disagree with Chick-Fil-A’s stance don’t want to support its values, then by all means, they can stop eating there. Chick-Fil-A’s stance has always (or at least, for some time) been this way. That is, one of supporting traditional family values and biblical principles. It is only of late, when those values were reaffirmed, that those in disagreement sought its removal from KU’s campus. Chick-Fil-A has served quality food with respect and integrity to all who come through its doors. There is no valid reason why disagreement from those opposed to Chick-Fil-A’s values should succeed in not allowing Chick-Fil-A to be in existence, presence, or practice.