“On our end, we suspended our campaign. Campus Pride originally came out with a campaign called “Five Simple Facts about Chick-fil-A.” Dan reached out and contacted us because of that campaign. He never told us to take it down or remove it. If anything, he said: ‘No, you keep doing what you’re doing. That’s the reason why we’re engaged, because you were bringing up issues that were important to hear.’
“The most important thing that happened when we sat down together was that we were able to witness what the other had to bring to the table around our beliefs and most importantly, around these experiences. Chick-fil-A opened up and shared documents [about their donations to anti-LGBT groups] that they didn’t have to share. They’re a private company. After that conversation, there was a sincere willingness to continue the conversation.
“We decided that because . . . there was interest to continue that dialogue to find common ground, that we would suspend the campaign, realizing that we can always reactivate it any any time. [The campaign was suspended] in late September. And that was our way of saying: You know what? We don’t have to keep, at least nationally, this campaign going. We can sit down and try to find common ground.
“Now, at the same time, we have college students who are still being hurt by the Chick-fil-A brand, and so that was a very, very difficult decision. People see my friendship, they see me sitting down with Dan Cathy as capitulating or endorsing the brand Chick-fil-A. I have never once told any student, including any campus, to keep Chick-fil A. We’ve never told them to do so. That’s their decision.
“I said on the news the other day that if I ever have the right to marry in North Carolina, which I believe I will, I’ll invite all my friends, including Dan Cathy. And if Dan buys me a Chick-fil-A sandwich, I’ll eat it. But at the same time, until I have the right to marry from my perspective, and while Chick-fil-A continues to donate to groups that don’t support marriage equality, I have the choice to say I don’t want to eat Chick-fil-A right now. I feel like that’s significant.”