WASHINGTON — The United States Commission on Civil Rights has sent a letter to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), urging the entity to rescind the decision not to allow the popular fast food chain Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
Commissioner Peter Kirsanow sent the letter on Monday to the chair of the Authority, Denise Roche, former president of D’Youville College and member of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart.
“This exclusion plainly violates the First Amendment and is contrary to the American tradition of respecting freedom of religion and belief,” Kirsanow wrote. “Quite simply, because the Buffalo airport is funded by taxpayers and run by the government, vendors cannot be excluded based on their speech or their religious beliefs.”
As previously reported, NFTA and Delaware North had originally planned on including the chicken chain at the airport food court in the fall of 2019. After learning of the development, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, publicly expressed his disapproval.
“I don’t believe the leadership of the NFTA intends to spread hate and discrimination, but allowing a corporation to do business at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport will help fund continued divisive anti-LGBTQ rhetoric,” he opined on Twitter.
“New York is a welcoming state that celebrates diversity. The views of Chick-fil-A do not represent our state or the Western New York community, and businesses that support discrimination have no place operating in taxpayer-funded public facilities,” Ryan contended.
While it is not known why, NFTA and Delaware
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