Chick-fil-A flap embroils N.Y.U.; Vote on fall menu

The fate of Chick-fil-A at N.Y.U. will have to wait for a decision by the University Senate when classes resume in the fall. Photo by Duncan Osborne

BY GARY SHAPIRO  |   A local food fight is causing a lot of squawking in the Village.

The ruckus began when Dan Cathy, president of the Atlanta-based restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, criticized gay marriage. N.Y.U.’s Weinstein Residence Hall, which is currently closed for summer break, serves food from this company.

The Village location is the only Chick-fil-A franchise in the city.

Hillary Dworkoski, a former student at N.Y.U.’s Gallatin School of Indi-vidualized Study, caused a lot of clucking by circulating a petition at, urging N.Y.U. to stop doing business with Chick-fil-A.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, stirred the pot last month when she used Council letterhead in a message to university President John Sexton, asking him to cancel ties with Chick-fil-A. More feathers flew because she opened by mentioning her official capacity “as the Speaker of the NYC Council, and on behalf of my family.”

If Quinn had her way, students might have to gobble up other offerings at the Weinstein dining room on University Place, like Quiznos subs, fruit-filled pancakes and “Grab n’ Go” items like sushi.

N.Y.U.’s decision on the subject is pending. In a statement, a spokesperson said, “The recent remarks attributed to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy about gay marriage are out of step with N.Y.U.’s views on this matter, and with our practices.” As to the school’s next move, the statement said, “The University Administration will ask the University Senate to take up the issue of Chick-fil-A’s status on campus again when it reconvenes this fall to make a recommendation on how to proceed.”

In a written statement, Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A executive vice president of marketing, said, “We value everyone and strive to treat all people with a caring spirit.” An online press release for the company says, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t feel it’s government’s duty to flush Chick-fil-A out of the city. On WOR Radio’s “The John Gambling Show with Mayor Mike,” Bloomberg said it was inappropriate for “government to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether they can live in the city or operate a business in the city or work for someone in the city.”

Similarly, Gregory Angelo, chairperson of Log Cabin Republicans of New York State, representing gays and lesbians within the Republican Party, cried “fowl” at the effort to ban the chicken chain.

“I do not want elected officials making the choice of how or where to spend my money,” Angelo said.

Tina Montenegro, an N.Y.U. doctoral student in French literature, said the owner of Chick-fil-A stating his opinion “is free expression.”

Marion Nestle, a professor in the nutrition department at N.Y.U., said, “It seems to me that there are two issues here. Should N.Y.U. permit franchises on campus from fast-food companies with distasteful views about sexual preference? And should N.Y.U. permit fast-food and beverage companies to be on campus at all?”

Nestle said such fast-food companies market themselves to poor families and children both here and in developing nations.

“The Chick-fil-A issue is a good reason for N.Y.U. to reconsider all of its arrangements with fast-food and soda companies,” Nestle stated.

On another gustatory note, radio host Gambling said the chain’s chicken sandwiches were tasty. The mayor chimed in, “Never had one, I didn’t know about them until I read about them in the paper.”

The L.G.B.T. Center on W. 13th St. declined comment on the politically incorrect poultry place.

However, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the local gay and lesbian synagogue, said, “As individual consumers, we should express our values through how we spend our dollars.”

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28 Responses to Chick-fil-A flap embroils N.Y.U.; Vote on fall menu

  1. We are what we are

    Let us not forget that Chick-Fil-A donates millions of dollars every year to anti-gay hate groups. That is what should keep this food chain out of the university, not Dan Cathy’s gross opinions of his “belief” of the bible.

    • And yet, we continue to tolerate the Catholic Church's anti-gay positions and activities.

      • John the Baptist

        Gee, somehow you conveniently forgot to also include many Protestant denominations and many of the Jewish and Islamic communities.

        No surprise. Bigotry comes in many forms.

    • Discrimination is discrimination no matter how much money someone gives. Plantation owners spent $100's of thousands of dollars feeding African Americans, but still held them as slaves.

      Spending money doesn't give one the right to take away someone elses' equal rights.

      • Which would mean you should decline to patronize Chick-Fil-A.

        Now … where exactly does that give you the right to decide whether anyone else does?

      • And yet dem politicians continue spending trillions of dollars to keep blacks poor. And controlled and reliable votes and I know you think that is just fine!

    • thelastminstrel

      Chick-fil-a donates to groups that hold seminars to teach couples how to make their marriages stronger. To say that someone hates you because they dissagree with you is the way a child reasons. Grow up.
      It is the ultimate hypocrisy for someone who whines, moans, and wails that they have the right to live their life free of societys restrictions to then demand that all mankind march in rigid lockstep with their beliefs and opinions.
      The ubiquitus cry of the gay movement is " the government has no right to regulate behaviour in my bedroom." If that is your demand, where in the blue blazing bloody hell do you aquire the right to regulate the thoughts in my brain?

    • Just curious…. What then was your opinion of Obama, who until just a few months ago, held the exact same opinion on the definition of marriage ( one man, one woman ) as espoused by this chik-fil-a honcho ?

      Did you call him "anti-gay" or accuse him of being filled with "hate" ?

      Did you donate to Obama's senatorial or presidential campaigns ? If you did, and we apply your logic equally, you donated money to a "hate group".

      Or are you applying a double standard?
      Or perhaps it IS possible to intellectually disagree with someone's view of marriage without HATE ?

      So, in your effort to promote "tolerance" we should be intolerant of adverse opinion?
      Is that really your position?

      Do you realize that banning Chik-Fil-A because of someone's personal or political opinion is wrong the same way that banning you for your opinions is wrong?

      The fact that Chik-Fil-A employs LGBTs without discrimination demonstrates that they are able to tolerate views that differ from their own.

      Who then is the intolerant here?

    • So Chik-Fil-A commits thoughtcrime and therefore must be banished from the university?

    • they are not hate groups. and chick-fil-a does not discriminate based on anything.

  2. Screw them. Saying gay "marriage" is a farce isn't "anti-gay", it is stating the obvious.

    The fact that these loud mouthed twits have such a large say on college campuses says a lot about why our higher ed system is so mediocre after years of being dominated by liberals. College graduates by and large cannot engage in critical thinking and half of them can't get a job that actually requires a degree in their major.

  3. They market to poor people? Have you ever eaten there? It's like $9 for a sandwich, side and drink. Poor people arent going to be eating there too often…….. duh.

  4. The left has really lowered the bar on what constitutes hate and bigotry. Back in the day, you had to actually, you know, hate people, and maybe even oppress them for good measure. Now all you need to do is fail to offer your full-throated support for gay marriage and you’re the moral equivalent of Bull Connor (which party did he belong to again?).

  5. The left proves over and over to be more intolerant than the right.

  6. What utter garbage. If disagreeing with the idea that same sex marriage is no different than traditional marriage, then, fine… after years of having dear and close friends who are gay, colleagues whom I admire that happen to be gay, hiring people that are gay… it seems I'm a hater. Fine, have it your way. I'm a hater. Enjoy your self-fulfilling prophecies.

  7. "…out of step with N.Y.U.’s views on this matter…"

    Out of step? It's indeed time to flush out anybody not in lock-step. What a chilling comment that would be expected from, say, a Chinese university.

    Just another example of why university is the antonym of diversity.

  8. College campuses are the least tolerant places in America. Even liberal newspapers and mayors saw the wrong in kicking groups out of cities for their political beliefs – and this is a majority view. The tyranny of the majority and the trampling of minority rights in alive and well at Liberal U.

  9. So one person states their view on a topic – and the gays throw a tempter tantrum. The same folks who were asking for "tolerance", now show the "tolerance" they are capable of. OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!

    Hey Christine Quinn! When I you going to start issuing uniforms? That way you'll always know who THE ENEMY is.

  10. The crux of the 'free-speech' debate is the leftists' attempts to mislabel and frame arguments in the most extreme terms i.e. disagreement now becomes hate and hate therefore can and does lead to physiological and psychological injury and/or death. Scarier still is how they've co-opted the public sector into acceptance, who now actively engage in advocacy for the so-called aggrieved and move to legislate in order to 'protect' them.

    Hate Crimes legislation, anyone?

  11. Here's the problem. NYU gets their funding from the state. The state gets their money from the residents that earn money and pay taxes in the state. It's not separated into two buckets – Democratic and Republican taxpayers. Also, the students aren't discriminated against based on their political values (I hope). Therefore, a publicly funded school doesn't have the right to transpose their values on the students or their vendors.
    If NYU thinks it's their right, then the taxpayers should have the right to decide if they should continue to receive their taxes.

  12. I am so tired of the left and their agenda. We used to be a free country. Now everyone is sooo offended on everything and everything MUST be banned if it offends.

  13. I was for gay marriage but I'm also for the right of people to be against it. The left in this country are fascist thugs, nothing more. This proves it.

    Given how this is turning out, I regret supporting gay marriage now.

  14. NYU better brush up on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based on religion, not to mention the prohibition of free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment. Be careful what you wish for….Chick Fil a today, NPR tomorrow….?

  15. So nothing in the Constitution, or anything anywhere, defines what constitutes a marriage? So multiple spouses is OK? Spouses of any size, age, gender? So I can marry my son, thereby making him my spouse, so he, now being my spouse, inherits my estate with no obligation to pay taxes on that estate? Point is, libs never think things through to the unintended consequences of their hair brained ideas.

  16. ThisHasGottenSilly

    I agree with the Rabbi and should NYU ban this restaurant I, as a regularly contributing alumni, can let my wallet speak. I am contacted annually by many organizations and institutions and understand that a personal opinion and corporate philosophy are distinct. I contribute based not on what an individual might say but what the corporations actions are. There seems to be lost however whenever a group feigns selective outrage and fails differentiate between the individual and the organization

  17. I hate to say this, but this is the wrong fight. Public support is for free speech and the way this fight is gearing gay activists come out as bullies. Everybody has the right to express their opinion. If you're going to penalize Chick-fil-a for that, you better be ready to do so across the board. It also speaks badly about any law student, law school and faculty in NYU that permits such repression. I always respected or thought that the NYU law school was superb, now I understand that they're just a bunch of windbags or charlatans, basing the constitution only on particular values or interest…

  18. where was thier ban on any barack obama stickers, or literature up to 3 months ago
    because until then obama supported tradtional marriage.
    the intolerance of the left is legendary

  19. I always thought the Red Sox and their fans were just fellow citizens peacefully exercising their rights, including the right to express opinions with which I disagree. How blind I was.Thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Center, I now realize what should have been obvious all along – the Red Sox and their followers are a hate group:

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