Three New York State Lawmakers Don’t Want Chick-Fil-A on the Thruway
Three New York State Assembly members have signed a letter demanding that plans to include Chick-fil-A restaurants in New York State Thruway stops be put to an end.
In the letter addressed to New York State Thruway Executive Director Matthew Driscoll, penned by Democratic Assemblyman Harry Bronson of Binghamton, certain legislators are taking issue with the choice of the Thruway authority to allow the "Applegreen, the Irish convenience store chain" to take over the lease for New York State Thruway stops. In addition to the choice of Applegreen to hold the new lease, the Thruway Authority has announced a $450 Million thruway rest stop renovation project that will not be funded by tolls or taxpayer dollars.
Assemblyman Bronson writes in his letter,
While the Authority's foresight and planning to ensure that reconstruction and renovations will provide facilities that will serve the leisure and commercial traveling public for many years to come is welcomed, what is giving us, and many other New Yorker's pause is the choice Applegreen and their portfolio of concessioners that will include Chick-fil-A.
A quick glance at Applegreen's website does not indicated that Chick-fil-A is a part of the family of food vendors for the convenience store chain, however there are reports one restaurant that will be available is the fast-food giant. So what's the issue?
Bronson goes on to state in his letter the issue with Chick-fil-A and it's founders is their "controversial history of opposing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and their families." Bronson points to a June 2012 incident where Chick-fil-A Chief Executive Officer Dan T. Cathy made comments opposing same-sex marriage, according to Bronson. Bronson also states that the Chick-fil-A corporation has continually made contributions to organizations that are "hostile to LGBTQ+ rights." Organizations cited by Bronson include the charitable endeavor of Chick-fil-A the WinShape Foundation and The Salvation Army.You can read the Assemblyman's full letter below
Chick-fil-A did have something to say about the letter and criticism of their being included in the renovations. An article on Syracuse.com refers to a statement made by Chick-fil-A in response to the letter. The article reads,
"We want to be clear that Chick-fil-A does not have a political or social agenda, and we welcome everyone in our restaurants,” the company said in a statement to USA Today Network New York. “We are proud to be represented by more than 180,000 diverse Team Members nationwide, and we strive to be a positive influence in our local communities.
The Syracuse.com article also points to the fact that the three members who signed the letter, including its author, are openly gay members of the legislature.