The University of Illinois community has been fighting for over a year publicly to remove Chick-Fil-A and their homophobic policies from the Illini Union. It has been widely known that money from the organization is directly used to support anti-LGBT initiatives and organizations throughout the United States, in direct contrast to the respect for diversity that the University of Illinois maintains as part of its mission. Earlier this year the CEO of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, explicitly stated his stance against LGBT equality, since then many universities and organizations have withdrawn their support of the business to protect the values of equality in their educational settings/workplaces. The U of I cannot fulfill its goals of creating a safe and respectful environment for its student body while allowing such a business to operate on university grounds. The university union board has already found Chick-Fil-A to be in violation of inclusiveness and has advised the severing of ties to the business, we ask that this process be expedited and the values of respect for all university members be maintained.
We are not arguing against the Christian community, we are only saying that any organization, regardless of its heritage, that actively supports discrimination has no right being housed and supported as a part of a diverse university community. We would no more tolerate a racist, sexist, ageist, anti-Islamic, anti-Christian or any other discriminatory business operating on university property than we will a confirmed and proud anti-LGBT business. The University of Illinois exists as a safe place for ALL of its student and employee communities which means that NO discrimination against any group by a business profiting off of an ideal location or student dollars should be tolerated on campus.
For references please see below:
Illini Union Board's recommendation cited here:
University of Illinois' Inclusive Illinois mission statement:
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's letter to Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy:
Image pulled with attribution from:
Let us all stand together for equality and respect.
UIUC GSLIS '13
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