New York state Assemblyman Harry Bronson in a Capital Tonight interview on Wednesday said allowing Chick-fil-A restaurants in rest areas along the state Thruway is out of step with New York's stance on promoting and fostering LGBTQ rights.
"What we're saying, the state ought not use assets it has that promotes a business that is totally inconsistent with public policy statements and that laws we've put in place," he said.
Bronson, a Democrat from Rochester, was among the state lawmakers in recent days to sign onto a letter opposing the chain placing restaurants along the Thruway. The controversy has erupted as the Thruway Authority has moved to renovate rest areas along the system, adding new restaurants along the way.
Republican state lawmakers have defended the company being included among the new restaurants in New York.
Bronson in the interview said he had spoken with Thruway Authority Executive Matt Driscoll, and acknowledged there are legal ramifications with potentially pulling away from the deal with the company.
The Thruway Authority emphasized that no taxpayer dollars or toll payer funds will be supporting these upgrades. But Bronson said that excuse doesn't hold.
"I explained to Mr. Driscoll that misses the mark," Bronson said. "What are taxpayer dollars? That's revenue the state receives. The state owns the land."
Chick-fil-A itself has sought to de-emphasize its leadership's socially conservative views, and in a statement pointed to efforts its taken to combat hunger. The company added it does not have a political or social agenda and are excited about this new partnership.