Mount Plesant, SC — Two Students from Spectrum, Wando High School's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), are circulating a petition to remove Chick-Fil-A from their campus. High school seniors Austin Bucholtz, Spectrum President, and Anne Singer, Secretary, report that they have collected over 1,000 signatures on their Change.org petition, which was created August 2.
"Chick-Fil-A funds organizations that are harmful to students, and they have no business operating out of our high school," says Anne Singer. "Their foundation gives money to organizations that claim to change gay people into straight people, despite a mountain of scientific evidence that shows such 'therapies' to be false, harmful, and dangerous. I am straight, I have many gay friends, and I think Chick-Fil-A's anti-gay practices hurt everyone."
Chick-Fil-A's charitable foundation, the WinShape Foundation, gave nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2010, alone. The organization has supported groups like Exodus International, a major promoter of "ex-gay" therapy- the practice of trying to change a person's sexual orientation from gay to straight. The organization refers to being LGBT as "perverse" and a form of "sexual brokenness." Almost every esteemed medical association has discredited reparative therapy, citing the "treatment" as dangerous and a potential cause of suicidal ideation.
The WinShape Foundation has also funded the Family Research Council, a group that, in turn, spent tens of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress not to censure Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill, a statute that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
"Our issues with Chick-Fil-A go far beyond marriage," says Austin Bucholtz. "The First Amendment gives Mr. Cathy the right to express his beliefs, whatever they may be. Our problem is that our school district should not financially or otherwise support an institution that funds hate groups."
The petition has gained national attention from entertainers such as Pink, Perez Hilton, and the No H8 Campaign, who have all retweeted the students' link. There is also a Facebook page supporting the cause.