Graham says he’d ‘go to war’ for Chick-fil-A after push to keep it out of Notre Dame

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Sen. Lindsey Graham said he would “go to war” for Chick-fil-A in response to student efforts at the University of Notre Dame to keep the fast food chain off campus over concerns about meat consumption and its stance on LGBTQ issues.

Earlier this month, two students wrote a letter to the editor of the university’s student newspaper, The Observer, pushing back on the potential addition of a Chick-fil-A to the school’s dining options and outlining their “serious ethical concerns” about the company.

The letter asked other students to sign an open letter to the university’s Campus Dining in opposition to the addition of Chick-fil-A and to “call on student and faculty leaders” to stop having the restaurant cater campus events.

Graham, a Republican in the U.S. Senate from South Carolina, tweeted Wednesday that it was “disappointing to hear” that some at the university want to “ban Chick-fil-A from doing business on campus because they disagree with the values held by the Chick-fil-A founders.”

“What a dangerous precedent to set,” Graham tweeted.

He went on to say he wants “everyone in South Carolina and across America to know” he has Chick-fil-A’s back.

“I hope we don’t have to, but I will go to war for the principles Chick-fil-A stands for,” he wrote. “Great food. Great service. Great values. God bless Chick-fil-A!”

This isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has faced pushback against opening a franchise. Earlier this month, lawmakers in New York asked the New York State Thruway Authority to reconsider adding Chick-fil-A restaurants to updated service areas on the Thruway, local outlet WROC reported.

The chain has long faced controversy for its donations to organizations that have a history of taking anti-LGBTQ stances, including opposing same-sex marriage. The company said in 2019 that it would only be donating to organizations that “work in the areas of homelessness, hunger and education starting in 2020.”

But the Notre Dame students who wrote the letter to the editor said their “first concern” is “Chick-fil-A’s long history of antagonism toward the LGBTQ+ community” and its donations to “groups that oppose LGBTQ+ rights.”

They accused Chick-fil-A of “participation in animal agriculture,” which they called “environmentally unsustainable.”

“North America has an obsession with meat like no other country on Earth and it is helping destroy the planet,” the students wrote in the letter.

The students also said Notre Dame doesn’t need more fast food restaurants.

“Consisting primarily of fried chicken and potatoes, the menu at Chick-fil-A does not supply an array of options suitable for a diverse campus community,” they wrote. “Vegetarians and vegans, a growing minority of the student body, would receive little benefit from a fried chicken restaurant. Also, a restaurant closed on Sundays is not best for a bustling, hungry college campus.”

The letter pointed to an Instagram post from Notre Dame’s Campus Dining, which clarified that the school does not have a contract with Chick-fil-A.

“Campus Dining is currently conducting a comprehensive retail dining master plan and is considering a variety of options, including Chick-fil-A,” the post said.

The students wrote that “Chick-fil-A is not the answer”

“There are better alternatives that would both enhance the array of on-campus dining options and support the well-being of an increasingly diverse student body,” they wrote.

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