Sean Ryan, a Buffalo, New York Assemblyman, wants to control what you eat.
Last week, the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport nixed plans to open a Chick-fil-A after Assemblyman Ryan took to Twitter to call out the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) for allowing this “discriminatory” corporation to open inside the “taxpayer-funded public facility.” It took just one-day for the NFTA to respond, saying that they would, in fact, scrap plans to bring Chick-fil-A to the airport. NFTA cited Chick-fil-A’s past funding of anti-LGBTQ groups, through the Chick-fil-A Foundation, as the main reason for the ban.
The supposed anti-LGBTQ groups that the Chick-fil-A Foundation has supported, that Assemblyman Ryan and the NFTA are concerned about, include a $1.6 million dollar gift to Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a $150,000 gift to Salvation Army.
Ryan took to Twitter, yet again, after the NFTA announced they would remove Chick-fil-A from the plans for the airport project: “A publicly financed facility like the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is not the appropriate venue for a Chick-fil-A restaurant…we’re confident another vendor who better represents the values of the Western New York community will replace Chick-fil-A as a part of this project in the very near future.”
As I reflected on this story I became increasingly concerned. First, what are the values of the Western New York community and why does Assemblyman Ryan get to decide? Second, how far can this logic be taken? If would be Chick-fil-A customers need to use roads funded by the Buffalo taxpayer to get to the nearest Chick-fil-A in Cheektowaga, NY, could Assemblyman Ryan ban the use of roads for that purpose?
One of the great assets of living in a competitive market economy is businesses that fail to serve their customers well, go out of business. If Chick-fil-A truly doesn’t represent the values of Western New York, Assemblyman Ryan should have no concern about a Chick-fil-A opening in the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport — it wouldn’t last long.
On November 29, 2018 the first Chick-fil-A in Western New York opened — just 11 minutes from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Hundreds of people braved frigid temperatures in long lines for the fast food restaurants grand opening at 6:30am. Why? Because, apparently, Western New York loves Chick-fil-A’s delectable chicken sandwich. In fact, they might even love what Chick-fil-A stands for.
Assemblyman Ryan, maybe it’s your values that don’t represent those of the Western New York community. You cannot know for sure unless you let those in your district choose whether they want to eat at Chick-fil-A. Don’t ban Chick-fil-A, let them compete for Western New York customers.
Stop suppressing free speech in the name of “tolerance.” Stop telling the people of Western New York what they’re not allowed to eat!