The company’s strategy appears to have changed within the last few years, but the past is hard to ignore for Bronson and two other legislators, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Danny O’Donnell, who co-signed the letter. The three lawmakers are openly gay.
“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,” Bronson wrote.
Another legislator, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, joined those criticizing plans to open Chick-fil-A restaurants at Thruway rest stops.
“Bigotry and discrimination are not New York state values,” Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, said. “New York state has long worked to advance LGBTQ+ rights, but inviting a restaurant that is committed to blocking equality to open on state property will undermine our continuing efforts toward true equality.”
The Thruway’s plans call for tearing down and rebuilding 23 of the 27 service areas along Interstate 90 or I-87. The remaining four rest stops will be renovated. The project, which was awarded to Empire State Thruway Partners, will begin this month and continue for the next two years.
Along with Chick-fil-A, other restaurants will be added to the Thruway rest stops. Panda Express, Panera, Popeyes and Shake Shack will join Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. The Thruway Authority hasn’t announced the new restaurant lineup for each rest stop.