Jonathan Weiss /

A newly proposed New York bill could cause some serious issues for some Chick-fil-A’s throughout the state. The bill, number A08336, proposes that all “food services at transportation facilities and rest areas owned and operated by certain public authorities remain open seven days a week.” The bill notes that Applegreen, an Irish convenience store chain, took over all the leases of public service areas in 2021. It noted that Applegreen’s portfolio included Chick-fil-A and that Chick-fil-A was operating in 7 of the 27 service areas. Chick-fil-A is known for its Christian values, which have gotten it in hot water in the past for its founder’s views on homosexuality. It is also known for always being closed on Sundays for religious reasons. “While there is nothing objectionable about a fast food restaurant closing on a particular day of the week, service areas dedicated to travelers is an inappropriate location for such a restaurant,” the bill says. “Publicly owned service areas should use their space to maximally benefit the public. Allowing for retail space to go unused one-seventh of the week or more is a disservice and unnecessary inconvenience to travelers who rely on these service areas.”

The bill says that all future contracts for concession services will be required to remain open for 7 days a week, except for temporary situations such as farmers’ markets. Although the bill does state it is for future contracts, it could prohibit adding any more Chick-fil-A’s in service areas. Assemblyman Tony Simone, a sponsor of the bill, said it is a matter of public good. “You know, we get hungry when we’re traveling. We may not like our brother-in-law or sister-in-law’s cooking and wanna get a snack on Christmas Eve. To find one of the restaurants closed on the Thruway is just not in the public good.” Simone also voiced umbrage with Chick-fil-A’s political stances. “Not only does Chick-Fil-A have a long, shameful history of opposing LGBTQ rights, it simply makes no sense for them to be a provider of food services in busy travel plazas.” He said, “a company, that by policy, is closed on one of the busiest travel days of the week should not be the company that travelers have to rely on for food services.”

US Senator Lindsey Graham was quick to denounce the bill on X. “I will be introducing legislation withholding federal funds from any city or state that requires @ChickfilA to stay open on Sunday,” he wrote. He noted that the company’s decision to close on Sundays was “consistent with their faith.” “For any government to try to reverse this decision flies in the face of who we are as Americans,” he added. “New York is off base, and their actions will not go unanswered.” The New York bill will still need to be passed through both houses of Congress in the state.

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