Democrats in New York have recently gone ballistic over plans to open various Chick-fil-A restaurants in restaurants across the state. In a recent letter, at least three Democrats vocally proclaimed their opposition to these plans, claiming that the fast food chain has donated to various anti-LGBT and other supposedly discriminatory groups in the past.
Assemblyman Harry Bronson, along with co-signors Daniel O’Donnell and Deborah Glick, demanded that Matthew Driscoll, who serves as the New York Thruway Authority’s Executive Director, “re-examine” the approved concessions associated with a $450M project designed to improve rest areas along the Thruway.
Per the Democrats, Chick-fil-A, along with its founders, “have a long and controversial history of opposing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and families,” claiming that part of this history includes the fast food giant’s support of “organizations hostile to LGBTQ+ rights.”
In addition, Bronson claimed that New York has made policy decisions that support human rights and support dignity for all individuals across the state, asserting that it is important to “keep that public policy in mind.”
After years of millions in donations to organizations hostile to LGBTQ+ rights, the decision to approve @ChickfilA as an approved concession at our rest stops is concerning to say the least.
— Harry B. Bronson (@HarryBBronson) July 10, 2021
Moreover, the Thruway Authority also issued a response to three other Democrats in a different letter on July 11, which underscored the fact that both the staff and Board of Directors fully support “an inclusive environment,” and that all travelers are routinely treated “with dignity and respect.”
The Thruway Authority also noted that its private partner, Empire State Thruway Partners, had researched several different restaurants and ultimately finalized agreements with specific brands in order for them “to operate at the redeveloped service areas to enhance and improve the travel experience for [Thruway] customers.”
The letter also detailed that zero taxpayer dollars, as well as zero toll payer funds, would be delegated to the redevelopment efforts of the Thruway Authority. Additionally, every single brand included within the project will have to adhere to all the “non-discriminatory” and “inclusive” standards embraced by the state of New York.
The fast food chain also weighed in on the controversy raised by the Democrats, explicitly stating that Chick-fil-A has zero “social” or “political” agenda. In addition, everyone is welcome to Chick-fil-A restaurants, regardless of background or varied identifications.
The controversy originally began when Bronson commenced a petition for New York state residents who are opposed to the presence of Chick-fil-A storefronts along the thruway. The petition has garnered a grand total of 1,000 signatures.