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Log In / Register | Apr 25, 2018

Banned In Boston, Chick-fil-A Denies Discrimination

A decision this week to bar Chick-fil-A from opening on Northeastern University has led the franchisor to again deny claims of anti-gay bias.

A 31 to 5 vote by the student government led the University to revoke its agreement with Chick-fil-A.

Northeastern's graduate student Senate also agreed that Chick-fil-A is contrary to "Northeastern's values and standards with respect to diversity."

The source of the controversy is donations made by the charitable arm of Chick-fil-A. Established by founder Truett Cathy, the WinShape Foundation made several million dollars in grants to religiously-minded organizations such as Focus on the Family and Exodus International.

The franchisor and licensor of chicken restaurants has proclaimed a Christian orientation, including a policy against opening on Sunday.

Chick-fil-A has come under increasing pressure on university campuses.

In the wake of the Northeastern University decision, officials at New York University defended the continuation of the only Chick-fil-A  outlet in Manhattan and said that the operation was a licensed outlet controlled by foodservice giant ARAMARK and had nothing to do with NYU.

Chick-fil-A denies any bias; in a statement Dan T. Cathy said:

Every morning when we open our restaurants across the country, we strive to treat each customer with honor, dignity and respect. At the cornerstone of this commitment is a belief in the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself. We will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family.

Cathy went on to say:

[W]e have no political agenda, policy or position against anyone, especially the LGBT community.

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About Paul Steinberg

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Attorney. Former franchisee. Co-author of Beguiling Heresy: Regulating the Franchise Relationship (Penn State Law Review, 2004). Paul primarily represents small business clients and franchisee litigation in the state of New York. Contact the Law Office of Paul Steinberg, NY, NY at 212-529-5400.

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