ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A plan to put Chick-fil-A restaurants at rest stops along I-90 is being met with opposition. Lawmakers and organizations say the restaurant has a history of donating to anti-LGBTQ groups.
Chick-fil-a is one of many restaurants being added to service areas in New York — as part of the Thruway Authority’s $450 million service-state modernization project.
Assembly member Harry Bronson says Chick-Fil-a has a long history of donating to groups that oppose same-sex marriage.
He’s now started an online petition to keep the restaurant from being added to rest stops across the state.
Bronson is one of four lawmakers saying no to chick-fil-a at state rest stops. “Chick-fil-A, through the charitable wing of it’s business, has a history of donating millions of dollars to organizations that are discriminatory and anti-LGBTQ organizations.”
Bronson says New York has taken great strides to protect the rights of LGBTQ plus New Yorkers — but he’s worried this would be a step in the wrong direction.
“We can’t say through those laws and through those policy positions and statements, that we support the dignity and human rights of LGBTQ individuals and their families and at the same time, have a state authority that’s willing to enter into a 30-year-lease with a business that has a history of not recognizing the human rights of LGBTQ individuals.”
Bronson says he understands people should be able to choose where they eat, but he believes this situation is different. “It’s on state thruway authority property and they are leasing it, so it’s in essence the state saying, ‘We are going to offer them an opportunity for them to earn millions and millions of dollars,’ even though we know what the history is.”
Thruway Authority has responded to the pushback — in a statement they say in part that they “support an inclusive environment that treats the tens of millions of people that travel our system with dignity and respect.“
They also said there were no tax or toll dollars involved in this deal.
Assemblyman Bronson says he plans to speak with the Executive Director of Thruway Authority about why he believes this is important in the coming days. Chick-Fil-A claims it has no political or social agenda.
Thruway Authority will be redeveloping and modernizing 27 service areas over the next several years. Some will be closed stating July 29 for construction.