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Petition started to kick Chick-Fil-A off of UMd.'s campus

Sunday - 8/19/2012, 1:16pm  ET

Thomas Warren, wtop.com

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The controversy over Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's comments over gay marriage have come to the University of Maryland -- where students have started a petition to get the on-campus location shut down.

Chick-fil-A is called a "bigoted and hateful organization" in a petition started by students at the University of Maryland.

The petition goes on to say that allowing the company to continue operating on campus goes against the "spirit of equality that the university claims to champion."

In a June 16 interview on The Ken Coleman radio show, Cathy said, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him, and say, 'You know we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'"

In another interview with the Baptist Press in July, Cathy said the company is "guilty as charged" in its support of the traditional family.

Kristine Oladipo, who does not attend, but studies on the College Park campus, applauds the students' cause.

"If it makes the students feel better, than they should do it. If it makes them feel empowered," Oladiop says, although she does concede she will still eat at Chick-fil-A.

The students are calling for the eatery on campus to be replaced with what they call "a more accepting," and healthier option.

Sophomore Donald Mbu says he supports the petition, and plans on signing it.

"Because, gays and lesbians, they have rights in this country," Mbu says.

In response to the controversy, Chick-fil-A says, in a statement posted on its website, it treats every person with honor regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender, and it will leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the political arena.

The group hopes to reach 1,000 signatures. As of Sunday morning, more than 650 people had signed.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)