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Gay legislators don't want Chick-fil-A in rest stops

Jul 12, 2021 1:23 pm

Edward McKinley reports in the Times Union that the Thruway Authority's plan to update travel plazas with new restaurants is getting some push back. Three openly gay members of the New York Assembly sent a letter to the Thruway Authority last week saying that Chick-fil-A should not be allowed inside Thruway rest stops, because of the fast food chain's history of "opposing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals." "As you may be aware, Chick-fil-A and its founders have a long and controversial history of opposing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and families," the letter from Assembly members Harry Bronson, Deborah Glick, and Daniel O'Donnell says. "This move by the Thruway Authority, strikes us, as sending a message to LGBTQ+ individuals and families that it doesn't share the same commitment to their civil rights as New York State. We are requesting that you re-examine the list of approved concessions for these rest spots considering Chick-fil-A's actions against the LGBTQ+ community." Starting this month, the Thruway Authority is spending $450 million to renovate its rest stops, with the New Baltimore rest area one of the first getting an overhaul. Shake Shack, Popeyes, Panda Express, Starbucks, Panera, and Chick-fil-A are among the chain restuarants moving in. The resturant released its own statement on the issue: “Chick-fil-A is excited about the partnership and the opportunity to further serve the residents of New York. We want to be clear that Chick-fil-A does not have a political or social agenda, and we welcome everyone in our restaurants. We are proud to be represented by more than 200,000 diverse team members nationwide, and we strive to be a positive influence in our local communities. We do this, in part, by contributing $25,000 to food banks in each community where we open a new restaurant, and donating more than 10 million meals through our Shared Table program.” So far, the Thruway Authority is going ahead with their plan. "The New York State Thruway Authority, its Board of Directors, and staff support an inclusive environment that treats the tens of millions of people that travel our system with dignity and respect," said Thruway spokesperson Jonathan Dougherty in an email. Read more about this story in the Times Union.