Reporting Mike Hellgren
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The University of Maryland joins a national controversy. Hundreds of students are fighting to remove Chick-fil-A from the College Park campus after the president of the fast food chain spoke out against gay marriage.
Mike Hellgren has more.
The petition is online at Change.org. It’s up to 725 signatures and you don’t have to be a student or affiliated with the university to sign it. It says the Chick-fil-A restaurant is at odds with the university’s values.
The battleground over Chick-fil-A has moved to the University of Maryland College Park. More than 700 people have signed an online petition demanding the university kick the fast food chain out of the student union because of its CEO’s staunch opposition to same-sex marriage and donations to groups that share his views.
Some are fed up with the controversy.
“I do support gay rights and the fact that marriage should be allowed for anyone and everyone. It’s just been blown way out of proportion,” said Sitara Chauhan.
“Everyone else has a right to state whether they disagree with something or dislike it, so why can’t the owner of Chick-fil-A?” Shauntee Reese said.
Despite the petition, it doesn’t appear Chick-fil-A is going anywhere anytime soon. It’s still under contract with the university for the next academic year.
Similar efforts are underway at other campuses across the country.
“It’s freedom of speech for his religious beliefs so they should be allowed to stay,” said Terry Hubbard.
“A lot of people aren’t happy about it. I heard some friends of mine, co-workers, kind of complaining about it last night because I think they still like their chicken sandwiches,” said Kristen Cesario.
The Chick-fil-A controversy has lingered for months with kiss-ins, political statements, protests and even vandalism. The fight over whether it should stay on this campus comes as the issue of same-sex marriage is headed to Maryland voters in the fall, bringing the state national attention in the raging debate.
One of the university’s most famous alums is the late Jim Henson. The company that now controls his Muppets famously severed ties with Chick-fil-A over this controversy.
The school says Chick-fil-A does provide job opportunities for students.