Chick-fil-A 'fanatic' Lindsey Graham vows to go to WAR for pro-Christian food chain's principles amid student protests

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham pledged to go to the barricades for his favorite sandwich joint after students at Notre Dame University protested the opening of a Chick-fil-A location on campus, citing its “anti-LGBT activism.”

Graham took to Twitter on Wednesday to decry the protests that erupted earlier this week at the elite Indiana school, saying students and staff “want to ban Chick-fil-A from doing business on campus” over ideological disagreement with the chain’s founders, arguing that would set a “dangerous precedent.”

“I want everyone in South Carolina and across America to know I have Chick-fil-A’s back,” the senator declared.

I hope we don’t have to, but I will go to war for the principles Chick-fil-A stands for.

While Graham – a self-avowed “Chick-fil-A fanatic” – did not specify the principles at stake, the restaurant franchise has come under fire repeatedly over the years due to executives’ stance on LGBT issues. In 2012, then president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy, who is now CEO, stirred controversy with several statements on same-sex marriage, saying that those who have “the audacity to define what marriage is about” were “inviting God’s judgement on our nation.”

Earlier this week, dozens of students and faculty members at Notre Dame published a letter opposing plans to open a Chick-fil-A location on campus, urging the school’s leadership to reconsider the move.

“We believe… 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,” the letter said, adding that allowing the restaurant on campus would “run contrary” to the school’s “commitment to inclusion.”

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In a separate letter to the editor that appeared in the Observer, a college newspaper, students Tilly Keeven-Glascock and Joey Jegier accused Chick-fil-A’s charitable wing of donating $5 million to “queerphobic groups” between 2003 and 2012, including some that support “conversion therapy.” They also alleged CEO Cathy works with an organization that “funds hate groups and legal cases aimed at stripping queer people of their rights,” the National Christian Charitable Foundation.

In an attempt to address critics, the company said it would stop donating to certain Christian orgs opposed to same-sex marriage in 2019. It has also tried to clarify that Chick-fil-A itself takes no position on the issue, though neither did much to appease detractors. Last year, Cathy also turned heads in a bizarre effort to demonstrate his anti-racism during a recorded panel discussion at an Atlanta church, where he knelt to literally shine the shoes of rapper Lecrae, a black man. 

“Most of us white people, we’re out-of-sight, out-of-mind oblivious to it,” the CEO said of racism at the time. 

The furor at Notre Dame is not the only controversy to hit the restaurant in recent weeks, with New York lawmakers looking to block new Chick-fil-A locations along the state’s highway rest stops, also pointing to its LGBT stances. While New York Mayor Bill de Blasio previously attempted to lead a boycott against the company in the Big Apple, the effort failed. The city has since become home to the world’s largest Chick-fil-A location.

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FILE PHOTO: The exterior of Chick-Fil-A in New York City © AFP / Andrew Renneisen
Chick-fil-A sales have more than doubled since LGBT boycott began

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