WKU Public Radio News Staff
Mon July 30, 2012
Controversy over CEO's Gay Marriage Comments Comes to Kentucky
The Family Foundation of Kentucky is criticizing members of the University of Louisville administration for their response to a controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A.
For weeks, criticism has been leveled at Chick-Fil-A because it’s CEO, Dan Cathy, said recently he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Cathy and his company are well-known for their Christian beliefs. Notably, Chick-Fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays.
But Cathy's comments have upset gay marriage supporters, and boycotts and protests against the fast food chain have become increasingly common.
Several U of L officials have joined the boycott. Last week, U of L president James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz said they would personally stop visiting Chick-Fil-A and the university is exploring its ability to remove a location from campus.
But the Family Foundation is criticizing the move, saying U of L is being intolerant.
“If you’re going to go and turn around and ask for taxpayer money for your university when what you’re doing at the university is acting in defiance of the beliefs of most taxpayers than I believe that’s a problem," says foundation policy analyst Martin Cothran, referring to the 2004 vote in favor of a same-sex marriage ban in Kentucky.
Cothran is also warning Kentucky’s other public universities to stay out of the controversy.
“Well we hope other public universities don’t start engaging in viewpoint discrimination like U of L is right now. I don’t know what the positions of other university officials are, but we would hope they would have a little more sense that than though," he says.
Officials at the University of Kentucky say they will continue to honor a five-year contract with Chick-Fil-A before analyzing the company’s future on campus. They did not elaborate on whether the current controversy would drive that decision.
But Western Kentucky University says it hasn’t even discussed the possibility of removing Chick-Fil-A from campus.
Other universities have yet to weigh in.