An open letter to New York University President John Sexton:
NYU’s decision to continue to allow Chick-fil-A to operate on campus is troubling. Chick-fil-A has made opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights an integral part of its business.
Chick-fil-A’s president has made anti-LGBT statements, and the company has pumped money into funding hate groups. Young people, including students who attend NYU and colleges and universities throughout the country, bear the brunt of the toxic environment created by Chick-fil-A’s actions.
The presence of Chick-fil-A directly contradicts NYU’s stated position of creating a welcoming environment. Having this anti-LGBT company on campus sends a devastating message to NYU students, for whom an affirming environment is especially important.
Banning Chick-fil-A from NYU would not, as the Student Senators Council maintains, “limit freedom of expression.” There is a distinction between a university’s obligation to foster academic freedom and its business prerogatives.
NYU is free to choose which companies it supports. With respect to Chick-fil-A, that choice is clear. According to a recent report, Chick-fil-A directed $2 million in ostensibly charitable donations to anti-gay groups in 2010. By maintaining a business relationship with Chick-fil-A, NYU is subsidizing anti-LGBT hate.
I ask NYU to listen to its students, faculty, staff and alumni and stop allowing this company to make money on campus. Supporting an anti-LGBT company in New York City is an untenable position, and I urge you to sever your relationship with Chick-fil-A.