Chick-fil-A was ranked #1 in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index for fast-food chains. It was the seventh consecutive year Chick-fil-A topped the list for the category. Nevertheless, radical left-wing politicians have targeted the incredibly popular Christian-owned chain at all levels to limit its expansion.
The chain’s recent approval as a concession for the New York State Thruway has resulted in criticism from a Democrat assemblyman, who is trying to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening at any of the state-operated rest stops, which will be undergoing a massive modernization over the next few years.
“Chick-fil-A has a long history of donating millions to organizations hostile to LGBTQ+ rights,” Assemblyman Harry Bronson claimed on Facebook. “The NYS Thruway Authority’s list of approved concessions is striking and sends a message to LGBTQ+ individuals and their families that it doesn’t share the same commitment to their civil rights as New York State.”
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Iwan Mychajliw blasted Bronson for leading the charge to ban Chick-fil-A. “Woke, politically correct extremists want to ban Chick-fil-A in Hamburg and now across New York State,” he wrote on Twitter. “If these cancel culture socialists don’t want to eat there, don’t go. A left-leaning Assemblyman is protesting Chick Fil A from opening at Thruway rest stops. What a woke joke.”
Woke, politically correct extremists want to ban Chick-fil-A in Hamburg and now across New York State. If these cancel culture socialists don't want to eat there, don't go. A left leaning Assemblyman is protesting Chick Fil A from opening at Thruway rest stops. What a woke joke. pic.twitter.com/CnqoI3TVRe
— Stefan Mychajliw (@StefanMychajliw) July 12, 2021
Bronson and other assembly members sent a letter to the executive director of the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), urging him to “re-examine” the decision to include Chick-fil-A as an approved vendor.
“New York has taken great strides to expand and protect the rights of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers,” the letter reads. “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 stops considering Chick-fil-A’s action against the LGBTQ+ community.”
The Christian-owned Chick-fil-A has donated to Christian organizations that oppose same-sex marriage in the past. Bronson, et al. apparently think Christian values are hate crimes.
Other recent efforts to expand in New York State have met with resistance. In 2019, Chick-fil-A was approved for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, but local assemblymen intervened, prompting the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to reverse its decision. The region already has two Chick-fil-A locations (which I can confirm are busy), and a third was just approved for the town of Hamburg. The community clearly supports the chain. I suspect most people in the state do as well. But that didn’t save Chick-fil-A at the Buffalo Airport. Things seem better for Chick-fil-A’s chances on the Thruway.
NYSTA released the following statement in response to Bronson’s efforts:
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. Our private partner in the Service Area redevelopment project, Empire State Thruway Partners, explored a selection of restaurants and finalized agreements with specific brands to operate at the redeveloped service areas to enhance and improve the travel experience for our customers.
There are no state taxpayer dollars or toll payer funds supporting the redevelopment of the Thruway’s 27 service areas. Every restaurant brand included by Empire State Thruway Partners has a contractual responsibility, and is legally required, under New York State law, including the New York State Human Rights Law and Executive Orders, to adhere to the inclusive and non-discriminatory standards that New York State embraces.
Chick-fil-A also released a statement, saying they’re “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,” the statement continued. “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.”