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Protests, Student Boycotts Continue To Grow Over Chick-fil-A Scandal

February 15, 2011 5:16 pm ET by Carlos Maza

It appears that backlash over a Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A's sponsoring of a traditional marriage event run by one of Pennsylvania's leading anti-gay organizations won't be dying down anytime soon. Outrage over Chick-fil-A's sponsorship - as well as its history of anti-gay behavior -- has swelled to national levels, sparking several viral videos as well as calls from many LGBT organizations to stop support the restaurant chain. From change.org:

And then there are stories like this, out of Pennsylvania, the state which sparked the entire Chick-fil-A controversy after word broke that the restaurant chain was donating thousands of dollars in food to an event hosted by the Keystone State's largest anti-gay organization. It's the story of Amy Goropoulos, a straight, married wife with children, who used to eat at Chick-fil-A several times a month with her family and her coworkers.

But Goropoulos has stopped going to Chick-fil-A, telling PennLive.com that her belief in full equality for LGBT Americans means that she simply can't do business with a company that supports organizations working to ban gay marriage nationwide.

"They have to know they stand to lose business," Goropoulos said. "I'm sad. Hopefully, they'll change their minds, and I can have my chicken nuggets back."

What's most notable about the response to Chick-fil-A's anti-gay track record is the number of student groups demanding that their universities stop serving the company's food on campus:

But the activism surrounding Chick-fil-A goes far beyond just Pennsylvania. As we mentioned above, numerous campuses have started campaigns, urging their schools to ditch Chick-fil-A from their dining services. These are campaigns run by students at places like Texas Tech Universitythe University of North Texasthe University of New OrleansMississippi State UniversityIndiana University (Bloomington campus)the University of ArizonaOle MissFlorida Gulf Coast University and LSU, to name a few.

That's in addition to students at places like Duke University, or the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), who have written scathing op-eds or letters to the editor about Chick-fil-A's anti-gay connections. Stuart Hinds' letter in the UMKC paper put it pretty bluntly: "[It's] fine for a private company to have a political stance, but why does the University support such a discriminatory business? Particularly when the school emphasis as of late has been on diversity."

The students and LGBT-allies that have chosen to stop eating Chick-fil-A are working to send a strong signal to companies considering supporting anti-equality organizations: If you don't value the lives and relationships of your customers, you shouldn't expect them to value their relationship with you.