RALEIGH – N.C. State University was the latest to get wrapped up in the national controversy involving Chick-fil-A's stance on gay marriage. A group has started an online petition urging N.C. State to remove the fast food chain from campus.
Recently, the company's president made public comments opposing same-sex marriage.
“It's not about the chicken,” said Jose Chavira, a gay N.C. State graduate student who started the petition. “It is absolutely not about the chicken! For me, it's uncomfortable. It's offensive that this restaurant, this corporation that is so against my rights, so against me having the same rights as everyone else, is on our campus.”
In the first four days the petition was online, nearly 400 people signed it. Chavira's goal is at least 4,500 signatures.
The ongoing Chick-fil-A debate and now the petition as well, has members of the Wolfpack nation divided. Whether or not people eat at one of the two Chick-fil-A locations on campus could show how students feel about gay marriage.
But for some, the chicken should not be caught in the middle of a political or moral debate.
“It's great food. Everybody loves eating at Chick-fil-A. I don't think we need to kick them off campus. If you don't want to support them, then don't support them by giving your money to them," said senior Nathan Filipponi.
No one representing N.C. State would talk to News 14 Carolina on camera, but the university issued a statement that said in part:
Chick-fil-A was initially selected to be an option on campus largely due to student interest and feedback. NC State welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation.
However Chavira said that the university needs to take action to show its support for its diverse population.
“This isn't an issue of freedom of speech. This is an issue of equality and human dignity. For a university that promotes and encourages this diversity, it's not appropriate to maintain a relationship with a corporation that's run, for lack of a better word, by a bigot,” said Chavira.
NC State's football team is playing against Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31. The president of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, an NC State graduate, has expressed disappointment in the Wolfpack's ticket sales.