Lindsey Graham vows ‘to go to war for the principles Chick-fil-A stands for’ after boycott threat

Sen. Lindsey Graham sees a fox in the henhouse, and he's willing to declare war over it.

In a Twitter thread on Wednesday, the South Carolina Republican voiced his displeasure about a letter from roughly 180 students at the University of Notre Dame opposing the opening of an on-campus Chick-fil-A due to the chain's donations to Christian groups.

"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.

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"I want everyone in South Carolina and across America to know I have Chick fil-A's back," he tweeted. "I hope we don't have to, but I will go to war for the principles Chick fil-A stands for. Great food. Great service. Great values."

As of Wednesday evening, nearly 200 Notre Dame students and faculty members have signed an open letter asking the university's campus dining to oppose opening an on-campus Chick-fil-A.

"We believe, as we wrote in 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. Bringing Chick-fil-A to campus would run contrary to Notre Dame's commitment to inclusion and desire to create good in the world. So, we ask that you remove Chick-fil-A from your considerations and instead consider other additions to our retail dining," the letter said.

The signers said they had "no plans" for a "large-scale disruption" akin to similar anti-Chick-fil-A protests at other universities.

"Rather, we wish to resolve this concern before it transforms into a larger controversy," they continued, adding they hoped the letter would mark "the starter of wider dialogue on how to fulfill students' desires while also considering the ethics of what we consume."

Opposition to Chick-fil-A, which has made headlines ever since it was revealed in 2011 that some of the company's top executives opposed legalizing gay marriage, extends beyond students. Earlier this month, a handful of New York Democrats signed a letter opposing plans to open Chick-fil-As at rest stops throughout the state.

"Chick-fil-A and its founders have a long and controversial history of opposing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and families," said three New York state Assembly members in their July 9 letter, adding the company supported "organizations hostile to LGBTQ+ rights."

The New York Thruway Authority, tasked with approving the list of concessions in the state, responded to the Democrat lawmakers in a letter on July 11, underscoring its board of directors and staff "supports an inclusive environment" that treats travelers through its system "with dignity and respect."

Chick-fil-A has dismissed allegations of prejudice, saying, "We want to be clear that Chick-fil-A does not have a political or social agenda, and we welcome everyone in our restaurants."

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Representatives for Notre Dame and Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's requests for comment.

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