Why did the homophobic chicken restaurant cross the CSU?

One unfortunate trend I have noticed since I started attending Minnesota State University, Mankato is how the number of affordable food options in the Centennial Student Union keeps going down.

First, it was the removal of the pizza station in the basement of the CSU where single slices of pizza could be purchased for a few bucks. Now, they’ve replaced Jazzmans with Starbucks on the first floor. No more stopping by there for a cup of joe in the evenings I guess, since a cup of drip coffee is almost three bucks.

In any event, as a diabetic, I feel that trying to find sugar free or low sugar options for beverages just got a bit harder.

That is just one annoying detail with regard to campus’s dining options. Returning students might also notice that the homophobic chicken restaurant, Chick-fil-A, not only moved down to the CSU basement, but also expanded in size as part of the move.

Chick-fil-A has a reputation as being a homophobic, anti-LGBTQ company with its CEO Dan Cathy having a history of vocal opposition to marriage equality on top of Chick-fil-A’s history of donating money to anti-LGBTQ organizations.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy twice affirmed his opposition to marriage equality in statements made during an interview with the Ken Coleman Show as well as to the Biblical Recorder.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'” Cathy said on the Ken Coleman Show. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Organizations that Chick-fil-A have donated to in the past include the Salvation Army and Exodus International.

Exodus International, which no longer exists, once promoted conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific practice that can best be described as torturing LGBTQ people into not being LGBTQ.

Chick-fil-A has also donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, The Family Research Council.

It is true that Chick-fil-A has pledged multiple times to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations, most recently in 2019. The problem is they have broken that promise almost as frequently as they have made it.

Most recently, a report by the Daily Beast in 2021 revealed that CEO Dan Cathy is one of the biggest donars to the National Christian Charitable Foundation.  Right now, the National Christian Charitable Foundation is currently bankrolling efforts to prevent passage of the Equality Act, proposed legislation that if passed, would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

When I first started at MSU Mankato, it seemed like Chick-Fil-A was our campus’s dirty little secret tucked away in a back corner of the CSU dining area. To see it given expanded space in the basement was, therefore, a disappointing surprise. Given MSU Mankato’s stated values of diversity and inclusion, I have a lot of questions as to why Chick-fil-A was not only allowed to continue operations on campus, but was seen fit to be given a larger space.

Header photo: Chick-fil-A has been known to donate to several anti-LGBTQ organizations throughout the years. (Dylan Engel/ The Reporter)

Write to Jeremy Redlien at

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