Editorial: Booting Chick-fil-A

Northeastern University did the right thing in taking Chick-fil-A off its menu of fast-food chains that can open on campus. The only surprise is how long it took students and the university to realize how controversial the chicken chain has been for years.

Chick-fil-A is run by a conservative Christian family that in many ways is admirable in how it sticks to its principles, including by closing shop on Sundays for the Sabbath. And they make a darn good chicken sandwich.

But a chicken shop is not a church, and Chick-fil-A’s confusion about that has left a bad taste in many mouths. It heavily funds right-wing political groups such as Focus on the Family, whose factually dubious agenda includes opposing the very existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The funds are funneled through a family foundation. That allows Chick-fil-A to spin itself as a welcoming, tolerant company while it quietly funds professional bigots. We thought honesty is a core Christian value. Chick-fil-A is playing a game, and at Northeastern, it rightfully lost.

Now, LGBT people, feminists, progressive Christians and people of other or no faiths will not have unwittingly funded organizations that virulently oppose them by buying lunch. And hardcore social conservatives remain free to donate directly to such organizations without a chicken chain taking a cut.

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