Joining the firestorm, University of Louisville President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willinganz are pledging to not eat at Chick-Fil-A as a result of the fast food restaurant’s stance against same-sex marriage.
Last week, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy ignited a fierce debate when he said his company proudly supports the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
“I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,” Cathy said in a radio interview.
In response a U of L student launched an online petition that has gotten over 1,000 signatures calling on university officials to shut down the restaurant’s new campus location.
U of L spokesman Mark Hebert says the university is not officially boycotting the restaurant, but that Ramsey an Willinganz have made a personal decision to not patronize Chick-Fil-A anytime soon.
“The president and the provost feel very strongly about the statements that were made by the president of Chick-Fil-A. They found them very offensive and unnecessary,” he says. “And that it goes against a number of their own personal views and they think the views of this campus as being a welcoming and tolerant campus.”
Several gay rights group have condemned Cathy's remarks while others, such as former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who called for a “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” this week. Several market analysts have said entering such a divisive political issue could hurt the Atlanta-based company's profits, which are around. $4 billion annually.
The university is currently reviewing the contractual agreement between its food vendor Sodexo and Chick-fil-A, which is currently closed for the summer.
“The university officials are reviewing the contract. They’re looking at the other implications of any action or inaction involving Chick-Fil-A at this time. We really haven’t made any decision yet,”
University leaders will announce their decision before the fall semester begins.