Chick-fil-A is being scorned by a group of New York lawmakers who want to block the company’s bid to open restaurants on the state highway because of its owner’s anti-LGBTQ stance.
The Atlanta-based fast-food chain is one of a handful of restaurants that were awarded a contract by the New York State Thruway Authority to be part of a $450 million plan to renovate 27 service areas.
But the chief executive of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy—whose father, S. The $8.4 billion company Truett Cathy founded in 1946—has publicly insulted LGBTQ rights, which some legislators say should disqualify the privately-owned company from opening eateries in the state—Highway Rest Run stop.
Assemblyman Harry Bronson, a Rochester-area Democrat, sent a letter to Thruway Authority executive director Matthew Driscoll asking him to “re-examine the list of approved concessions” for rest stops due to Chick-fil-A’s past support of anti-LGBTQ anti-LGBTQ said to. Group according to Auburn Citizen.
Reportedly, Bronson and two other lawmakers who signed the letter — Deborah Glick and Danny O’Donnell — are openly gay.
According to the report, the Chick-fil-A Foundation has given money to anti-LGBTQ organizations and supported opponents of the gay marriage ballot initiative. Chick-fil-A’s restaurants are also closed on Sundays — a drop of more than $1 billion in revenue — so that its employees can go to church if they want.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also attempted to ban Chick-fil-A from the city over Kathy’s stance. Their efforts failed and the Big Apple is now home to the largest Chick-fil-A in the world.
Chick-fil-A disputed that it currently has a political agenda, pointing to a 2019 announcement in which it promised to support just three causes: education, homelessness and hunger.
“Chick-fil-A is excited about the partnership and the opportunity to serve New York residents,” the company said in a statement. “We want to be clear that Chick-fil-A has no political or social agenda, and we welcome everyone to our restaurant.”
Legislator Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) also said in a statement, “Bigotry and discrimination are not New York State values. New York State has worked long enough to advance LGBTQ+ rights, but a restaurant was invited. Doing something that is committed to preventing equality on state property will undermine our continued efforts towards true equality.
The Thauway Authority said in a statement that it supports an “inclusive environment that treats the millions of people who travel our system with dignity and respect,” adding that “no state taxpayer dollars or toll payers There are no funds” being used to fund redevelopment.
“Each restaurant brand incorporated by Empire State Thruway Partners has a contractual responsibility, and is legally required under New York State law, including New York State human rights law and executive orders, to adhere to inclusive and non-discriminatory standards. There are new ones that the state of York embraces,” the agency said.