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College opposes Chick-fil-A’s plans to open near campus

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40889131.nosignThe college opposes the plans of a restaurant with a history in supporting anti-gay groups from opening near the campus.

Chick-fil-A, which in the past admitted to donating money to anti-gay organizations, plans to open up shop on the corner of Bonnie Avenue and Colorado Boulevard across the street from campus in the empty building that formerly housed a Burger King.

Robert Miller, Senior Vice President of Business and College Services, said in a statement that the college “is not in favor of” giving the restaurant permission to open across from the campus.

“As a corporation, Chick-fil-A has not shown itself to be supportive of [LGBT] communities,” he said.

The restaurant was originally OK’d by Pasadena to start up in December last year, however District 7 trustee Terry Tornek appealed the approval, according to Annabella Atendido, the Associate Planner for Pasadena. A second look to approve Chick-fil-A’s opening will be held on March 19 this year according to Atendido.

However, many community members at the December hearing strongly opposed its opening, according to Atendido.
Along with city members, PCC constituents are disheartened the restaurant wants to come here. Student Trustee Simon Fraser aired his dislike to Chick-fil-A coming near PCC.

“I would not think that Dan Cathy [the CEO of Chick-fil-A] and his homophobic band would be welcome here and I would be very disappointed in all people who consider themselves LGBT allies who would go and eat there,” Fraser said passionately. “When a business makes a point of making its public views part of the public record, then by eating there you are implicitly supporting the idea that gays are significantly lesser people than everyone else.”

A second hearing to consider Chick-fil-A’s request will be held on March 19, according to Atendido.

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17 Responses to “College opposes Chick-fil-A’s plans to open near campus”

  1. Laura says:

    As a gay person, and as a former PCC student who will be moving near the school soon, I’m not happy that Chik-Fil-A may be opening at this site. This is an inclusive, progressive neighborhood. The businesses in the area should represent that inclusiveness. If the head of the company wants to publicly put down gays and lesbians for wanting to get married, that’s his choice. And if the company wants to give money to anti-gay groups that try to “de-gay” young people, that’s their choice as well. But it’s also the public’s choice to say they don’t want to do business with Chik-Fil-A. Some people, most of whom are probably not gay, don’t care about Chik-Fil-A’s anti-gay views. They’ll eat there anyway. But many gays and lesbians,as well as their friends and family members, feel hurt and anger over Chik-Fil-A being in the community, and we will certainly not be giving them our business. I experienced a form of “conversion therapy” as a teenager. It led to years of self-hatred and to intense, unnecessary stress. During the therapy I was told my feelings were “disgusting”, and that I could easily change, which made me feel even worse when I couldn’t. So some of us have very personal feelings about the groups that Chik-Fil-A gives it’s money to.

  2. Laura says:

    As a gay person, and as a former PCC student who will be moving near the school soon, I’m not happy that Chik-Fil-A may be opening at this site. This is an inclusive, progressive neighborhood. The businesses in the area should represent that inclusiveness. If the head of the company wants to publicly put down gays and lesbians for wanting to get married, that’s his choice. And if the company wants to give money to anti-gay groups that try to “de-gay” young people, that’s their choice as well. But it’s also the public’s choice to say they don’t want to do business with Chik-Fil-A. Some people, most of whom are probably not gay, don’t care about Chik-Fil-A’s anti-gay views. They’ll eat there anyway. But many gays and lesbians,as well as their friends and family members, feel hurt and anger over Chik-Fil-A being in the community, and we will certainly not be giving them our business. I experienced a form of “conversion therapy” as a teenager. It led to years of self-hatred and to intense, unnecessary stress. During the therapy I was told my feelings were “disgusting”, and that I could easily change, which made me feel even worse when I couldn’t. So some of us have very personal feelings about the groups that Chik-Fil-A gives it’s money to. Some say they don’t care. It doesn’t affect them. Remember that famous quote by Martin Niemöller:
    “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist…Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” Thank you Robert Miller for speaking up for me.

  3. Gil says:

    Dear Mr. Fraser,

    I see that you’ve recently opposed the opening of Chick-Fil-A but this seems to be unfair. For one thing, Chick Fil A has withdrawn a lot of its financial support for anti-gay groups (http://www.thewire.com/national/2012/09/chick-fil-ends-anti-gay-donations-moves-chicago/57005/). Second, the views that were expressed are from the CEO, who has backed down on being vocal about his “personal” beliefs (http://www.myajc.com/news/business/cathy-seeks-to-put-gay-marriage-flap-behind-chick-/nfCHj/). Thirdly, they have not failed to serve homosexuals and are not refusing to hire them. What’s more important here? That you make a statement that is based on misinformation and intolerance or that people get jobs and students get to enjoy a delicious Chick-Fil-A sandwich? This is a legitimate business, regardless of your strong stances, and you quite frankly have no right to refuse a business from being near PCC just because they do not hold to your views.

    This is bullying, pure and simple. I find it quite interesting that businesses such as Starbucks are able to boldly proclaim their support for gay marriage, but when Chick-Fil-A backs down, you still can’t let go of attempting to destroy their very right to be a business. It’s just paranoia and over-sensitivity that causes students to “fear for their friends” as if Chick Fil A is pushing some kind of witch hunt against the LGBT group. This is how politicians play their game. They spread FUD and get what they want from it. Your group is no different. Thankfully, there are homosexuals who are reasonable enough to see through your cause as nothing more than phobia. Please consider your actions in light of reason.

    Thank you,

    Gil Sanders (PCC student)

    • Sarah says:

      Well stated. As are the majority of the arguments against the “school’s” position. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the proponents and initiators of the argument.

  4. Matt says:

    As an alum of PCC, I’m sick of the ASB picking up battles that have nothing to do with the education or advancement of its students. I was a commissioner when they voted to oppose the Iraq War. Regardless of any argument’s merit, the job of a student government is to stand up for the students, not make pointless political statements. How will opposing the opening of a Chick-fil-a help students transfer to a four year institution? How will it help students master a trade? The ASB needs to stop thinking of their own selfish political ambition, and help the students they were elected to represent.

    • Simon Fraser says:

      Hello Matt,

      Though I won’t speak for ASPCC this year, I would argue that the Iraq war has had a direct impact on our returning veterans, the ability of those veterans to get needed services and the condition of those veterans after their service. Further, the proposed restaurant is being installed immediately next to the campus; it is within the “college district” as defined by Pasadena’s East Colorado specific plan, and so development on that site has a direct impact on students next to the campus and traffic in and out of parking lots, to name but a couple of direct impacts.

  5. Joel says:

    Opening a Chick-Fil-A would be fine! They have great food and it’s affordable. Are homosexuals “christian-phobic?” Seriously, Target donates to “anti-gay” organizations and gay people still shop there and are employed there! Chick-Fil-A has a Christian CEO…what were you expecting him to say when asked about homosexuality? It’s as if a Christian organization were to go ask an LGBT group and be shocked that they support gays lol. It’s ridiculous. If gays don’t want to eat there, it’s fine, but they shouldn’t have they only say. Besides, I’m sure the Chick-Fil-A isn’t opening next to our school to spread hatred towards anyone. They just want to bring us some amazing food!

    • Simon Fraser says:

      I sincerely doubt the same arguments would be made if each word in your paragraph was replaced with “Jewish,” “Female,” or “Black.” And, one day, comments like these will be treated with the same regard.

      I encourage any student who believes that supporting organizations advocating harmful ‘treatments’ and ‘reparative therapy’ should be simply allowed to go unchallenged to speak to me directly. My email is swfraser@pasadena.edu, my phone number is (626) 585-7904, and my office is located in the Campus Center, CC-105B.

  6. Mary says:

    Why is chik-fil-A referred to as anti gay? How is that fair? They are pro Christian. And stop it with the homophobic name calling. No one is scared of gay people. The LBGT are really hurting the image of gay people. Thay are nuts man.

  7. betty says:

    Okay, so instead let’s talk about how there’s a lack of real food to eat around the campus. It’s either too expensive to eat healthily here or it’s junk fast food. Can’t the college just take over the lease and move the Piazza across the street?

    • Sarah says:

      It might be a “nice” thought but you don’t seem to have a concept of the cost of occupying that space vs. the income of the company that sells the food on campus, or that said food is anything other than what your complaint above addresses.

  8. Ricky vanDerPelt says:

    Sarah ~

    Well done. Would you like to take Miller’s job? It appears you have a BRAIN!

    Ricky

  9. Sarah says:

    Every citizen has the constitutional right to not only posses their opinion, but to voice it as well, no matter what anyone else thinks about it-majority or not. It is therefore entirely inappropriate and irresponsible for the school, a public institution, to have an opinion or participate in arguments against a business because of its founder’s affiliations and personal beliefs, or for one student to claim representation of an entire student body’s views. The controversy is based on the founder’s views- an old man from Atlanta, but punishes the owners of this would be location who are Pasadena residents. A Chik-fil-a opening would potentially provide much needed jobs to students, as well as an alternative and more economical food source nearby. It would also stimulate the economy of Pasadena at large as well as an area that is struggling. It is unacceptable that Chick-fil-a’s are more notorious for the one issue than the volumes of good they cause the neighborhoods they move into, and we as a school should not practice reverse bigotry.

    • Simon Fraser says:

      Dear Sarah,

      In my comments on Chick-fil-A, I have never once claimed to speak for the entire student body. I am, however, the elected Student member of the District’s governing board. It is worth noting that the Associated Students of Pasadena City College did discuss the issue, and voted in opposition of the proposed expansion.

      It is also worth noting that the property we are talking about is immediately next to the campus. A public institution has every right to have an opinion about the community it surrounds; the city of Pasadena is also a public institution. It is entirely appropriate for the college to have an opinion on the zoned College District, which the proposed Chick-fil-A would inhabit.

      • Matt says:

        Get a life Simon… Libtard nut job.

      • Sarah says:

        Simon,

        Unfortunately, though you are an elected member of a student organization, that organization STILL does not represent the mass of the student body. You know as well as I, again unfortunate as it may be, that fewer students vote in this election than don’t.
        I stand by my informed position that the school has no business interfering, ESPECIALLY since the arguments are ill-informed (even after reading the facts people can’t seem to get them straight), persecutorial, and bigoted in their own right.

  10. Ricky vanDerPelt says:

    The “college’s” responses were perfectly POLITICALLY CORRECT!
    What else would you expect from liberal, career-educators who have not held a REAL job in decades?

    Unfortunately, the one book Miller & Fraser never picked up was the Bible. The book used by our founding fathers to establish our very constitution. Let’s see…HMmmmmm, should we BLACK LIST every company and politician who ever GAVE money to a gay cause? If so, the White House would have an empty master suite.

    I and every Christian I know am sick of this two-year-high school!

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