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Religious Profiling of Chick-fil-A

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
Jan. 10, 2024

NEW YORK, Jan. 10, 2024 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Bill Donohue, President, Catholic League:

    The war on Chick-fil-A has been going on for years, though in recent times it seems to have dissipated. The typical complaint is that because it closes on Sundays—to allow its workers to spend time in church and with their family—this is an antiquated Christian model that should no longer be tolerated. The fast-food chain has been closed on Sundays since it first opened in 1946.

    The war was reignited recently when two New York State lawmakers, Democratic Assemblyman Tony Simone and Democratic Senator Michelle Hinchey, co-sponsored legislation aimed at forcing the evangelical-run company to open its restaurants on Sundays along the New York Thruway. They are saying that closing one day a week along the 570-mile-long highway gravely inconveniences travelers.

    Chick-fil-A currently operates seven restaurants along the Thruway; three more will soon open. According to its critics, in one of the seven rest stops where it is located, the only other option is Starbucks. However, the Irish company that extended the contract to the chain restaurant, Applegreen, claims that alternative hot and cold food options are available in all current and future Chick-fil-A rest stops, 24/7.

    Simone and Hinchey say that if their bill passes, it will only apply to Chick-fil-A restaurants not under contract (meaning it would not affect the first ten). U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has threatened to introduce federal legislation to withhold federal funds from any state or city that demands Chick-fil-A to open on Sundays.

    Simone and Hinchey claim that their bill is not motivated by religious animus. What is not in dispute is that both of them are rabid supporters of abortion-on-demand and the radical LGBT agenda. Of the two, Simone has clearly been the most vocal critic of Chick-fil-A.

    Simone was elected to the Assembly in 2022 and assumed office on January 1, 2023. He represents the very liberal west side Manhattan neighborhoods of Chelsea and Hells Kitchen. He campaigned on LGBT issues, radical bail reform and the decriminalization of prostitution.

    A review of the bills he has sponsored, and voted for, reveals that he tries to appease a wide swath of New Yorkers. Here are 40 of them.

    • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
    • Jews
    • Abortion providers
    • Firefighters
    • Disabled
    • Minorities
    • Women
    • Children
    • Teachers
    • Police
    • Jordanians
    • Caribbean Islanders
    • Ukrainians
    • Developmentally Disabled
    • Taiwanese
    • Polish Americans
    • Mothers
    • Mental Health Workers
    • Guidance Counselors
    • Pakistanis
    • Dominicans
    • Canadian Americans
    • Teenagers
    • Public employees
    • LGBTQ people
    • Hospital Patients
    • Retail Workers
    • Bicyclists
    • Students
    • Tenants
    • Public Retirees
    • Drug Users
    • Veterans
    • Haitians
    • Filipinos
    • Nurses
    • Arabs
    • Blacks
    • Ex-Cons
    • Social Workers

    Noticeably absent from Simone's list of courted citizens are evangelical Protestants and Catholics. Nor does he seem to have any interest in advancing religious liberty.

    This matters because he insists that targeting Chick-fil-A has nothing to do with the Christian convictions of its chairman, Dan T. Cathy. Simone can repeat this refrain all day long but he cannot walk back a comment he made in late December. He told reporters that Chick-fil-A has "a long, shameful history of opposing LGBTQ rights."

    In other words, Christians, and others, who believe that marriage should be the reserve of a man and a woman, and that a man can no more be a woman than he can be a spider, are the enemy. One would have to be delusional to think that Simone's real target is not practicing Christians.

    In the district that Simone represents, there are Jewish stores that are closed on Saturdays. Does this mean that a kosher deli cannot open shop along the rest areas of the New York Thruway? The contempt for traditional people of faith is astonishing.

    If Applegreen is correct, and food is available at every one of Chick-fil-A's rest stop areas, then there is no issue. Even if this is contested, there is an easy way to settle this matter. In the future, every rest stop along the New York Thruway should have at least one hot and cold food shop available, seven days a week. Bingo—"problem" solved.

    We will contact all New York State lawmakers.

    Contact Simone: simonet@nyassembly.gov

SOURCE Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

CONTACT: 212-371-3191, pr@catholicleague.org