Bill A08336 would require any food provider contracted with the New York State Thruway Authority to have restaurant locations at its transportation facilities and rest areas to stay open all week long. According to the legislation, restaurants set up to service travelers disservice the public by closing on a particular day of the week.
A spokeswoman for the New York Thruway, however, has pointed out that though Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays, customers have other alternatives. Likewise, several truckers recently assured local news that Chick-fil-A's day of rest did not bother or inconvenience them.
Jeff Stier of the Consumer Choice Center says legislators in The Empire State have not been friendly to religious freedom for a long time.
"Certainly, they have an argument to make that this is a public space that is trying to serve travelers, but it's really a double standard," he comments. "New York places so many burdens on businesses to accommodate customers."
Stier, who practices the Jewish faith, finds it ironic when the government ignores religious rights. He says he would be horrified to be required to operate on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday.
"I would not want my own restaurant, if I had one, to be excluded from doing business with the state of New York just because I wanted to observe my religious Sabbath," he tells AFN. "Chick-fil-A should have the same right, and I stand up for them."
He hopes the lawmakers will ultimately choose to make the reasonable accommodation for Chick-fil-A to remain closed on Sundays.