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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed a "big win" after the University of Notre Dame said it would go through with plans to build a Chick-fil-A on campus despite objections from some students and faculty.
The nearly 200 students and faculty members who expressed opposition to the university's decision to bring the popular chicken restaurant onto campus were outnumbered by proponents, the university said in a statement.
"Our students have overwhelmingly expressed a desire to have a Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus, and we look forward to opening one early next year," the university said.
Undergraduates Tilly Keeven-Glascock and Joey Jegier voiced their objections in a July 1 letter to the editor of the student newspaper The Observer, saying the restaurant's "long history of antagonism toward the LGBTQ+ community" was chief among their reasons for drafting an open letter to campus dining services to request an alternative to Chick-fil-A.
The letter to the editor pointed to CEO Dan Cathy's donations to Christian charities and other matters.
Big win! Great to hear Chick-fil-A is coming to Notre Dame. https://t.co/rRhz2LyxwR
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 15, 2021
"We believe, as we wrote in [university newspaper]The Observer, that there are a multitude of reasons to oppose Chick-fil-A: its anti-LGBTQ+ activism, reliance on animal agriculture, and lack of accommodations for students with special dietary needs, to name a few," signers went on to say in the open letter asking campus dining to forgo the restaurant. "Bringing Chick-fil-A to campus would run contrary to Notre Dame’s commitment to inclusion and desire to create good in the world."
The university "examined the concerns surrounding Chick-fil-A’s charitable giving, discussed them with company representatives, campus partners and students and believes that Chick-fil-A has responded to these issues in a satisfactory manner," it said in its statement.
Graham came out strong in support of Chick-fil-A in a series of Wednesday tweets, declaring he has "Chick-fil-A's back" amid opposition from some at Notre Dame.
"It's disappointing to hear some ND students and faculty 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 wrote.
"I hope we don't have to, but I will go to war for the principles Chick fil-A stands for," the South Carolina Republican also said. "Great food. Great service. Great values."
The restaurant, founded by Truett Cathy and now run by his son Dan, has remained a fixture in culture wars since the latter stated his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Three New York Democrats signed a letter on July 9 stating their opposition to bringing Chick-fil-A restaurants to rest stops in the Empire State, similar to the Notre Dame opponents.
"Chick-fil-A and its founders have a long and controversial history of opposing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and families," wrote Assemblyman Harry Bronson, Deborah Glick, and Daniel O’Donnell.
Chick-fil-A has pushed back on such characterizations following the lawmakers' move.
"We want to be clear that Chick-fil-A does not have a political or social agenda, and we welcome everyone in our restaurants," the restaurant said.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman