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Senator Graham declares ‘war’ over bill requiring Chick-fil-A to open Sundays

By Jake Beardslee · December 24, 2023

A New York bill to open new thruway Chick-fil-A locations on Sundays has drawn national attention and accusations of religious discrimination from SC Senator Lindsey Graham.  Sikander Iqbal/Wikimedia

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is vowing to defend Chick-fil-A’s right to remain closed on Sundays, declaring “war” against a proposed New York bill that would require restaurants on the thruway to stay open every day of the week.

For decades, the fast food chain known for its chicken has kept locations closed on Sundays due to the founder’s Christian faith. But now, a bill introduced in the New York Assembly threatens that tradition. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Tony Simone, would mandate that new Chick-fil-A locations on the thruway must stay open seven days a week as part of an effort to expand food options for motorists.

Though the bill would not impact current restaurants, Graham took to social media to blast the proposal, writing on X “This is war” and vowing to introduce counter-legislation blocking federal funds for cities that force Chick-fil-A to open Sundays. He argued the bill “flies in the face of who we are as Americans” and that “New York is off base.”

Simone says the bill comes in response to complaints about closures from thruway travelers. With 27 service areas being rebuilt and leased to new operators, seven Chick-fil-A’s have opened but sit inactive one day a week. He called that an “inappropriate location for such a restaurant” and a “disservice” to the public, according to The Independent.

But Graham remains steadfast, claiming Democrats are trying to “force” the chain to abandon its Sunday tradition. He praised Chick-fil-A as a “great company” serving quality food and treating employees well.