Sen. Jeremy Cooney joins call for state to reconsider Chick-Fil-A addition to Thruway

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-NY-56) Thursday joined other state politicians to call on the Thruway Authority to reconsider its plans to include a Chick-Fil-A at its rest stops as part of a major renovation project.

In a letter to the Thruway Authority Thursday, Cooney cited his position on the Senate’s Transportation Committee and support for the LGTBQ+ community as reasons to make the push.

The response comes after members of the LGTBQ community sent a letter to Governor Cuomo to reconsider the proposal for the restaurants to be added. Community members say Chick-Fil-A’s leaders have opposed gay rights in the past, including donating to causes that are "hostile" to LGTBQ rights.

New York Democratic Assemblyman Harry Bronson issued a statement Saturday adding the restaurant would send the wrong message. His office set up a petition for people to connect to Cuomo’s office.

Cooney shared his support for Bronson. View his full letter below. (Mobile users click here)

Cooney Chick- Fil- A Letter by News10NBC on Scribd

Despite the pushback, some Assembly Republicans have expressed support for the restaurant.

In a statement to News10NBC, Chick-Fil-A responded to what it called "outdated" and "misleading" claims:

“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.”

In a statement sent to News10NBC Monday, the Thruway Authority said every restaurant included as a Thruway partner has both a contractual and legal responsibility to adhere to what the says is "inclusive and non-discriminatory standards."

The restaurant chain would be among 10 new restaurants as part of a $450 million project to redevelop all 27 service areas on the Thruway.