Two New Jersey town officials are opposing the establishment of a Chick-fil-A branch along the Garden State Parkway over the company's biblical beliefs on marriage.
The New Jersey officials, who happens to be the mayor and a gay councilman, are pushing back against the new Chick-fil-A location by urging the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which operates the parkway to place the fast food chain at the Brookdale South rest stop instead.
Mayor Michael Venezia and Councilman Rich Rockwell released statements opposing Chick-fil-A's plans to open a store in the New Jersey town and asked the turnpike authority to rethink its decision, NorthJersey.com reported. Rockwell accused Chick-fil-A of using its "financial success" to support and promote discriminatory policies against members of the LGBT community.
"Chick-fil-A imposes its religion on employees, customers and operators and as a publicly funded entity, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority should not allow this type of business on the Parkway," Rockwell alleged. "This restaurant chain would be an affront to all of the citizens of Bloomfield that make up the tremendous diversity that makes our town such a great place to live."
This is not the first time Chick-fil-A faced opposition in the community. Fox Business reported that in 2019, the company announced it wanted to "set the record straight" after it accused some "media organizations" of "misleading" reports about its support for certain charitable organizations. The company said at the time, "To suggest that our efforts in supporting these organizations was focused on suppressing a group of people is misleading and inaccurate."
According to Faithwire, it's been more than two years since Chick-fil-A pledged not to provide grants to Christian groups like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army after activists falsely labeled them as "anti-LGBTQ" organizations. But despite this, Chick-fil-A has faced pushback every time they attempt to open up in new locations in Canada and the U.S.
As per NJ.com, Turnpike Authority officials released a statement on Tuesday saying that any decision made about which dining options to include in service areas are reviewed by the Turnpike Authority staff. They've also considered how Chick-fil-A restaurants have become "a fixture at service areas throughout the country" and even in its neighboring states. The agency said, "The Turnpike Authority expects that anyone doing business in its service areas will treat all patrons with respect and will abide by the standards of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination."
Venezia said that while he "respects" the legal process of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, he does not agree with their decision and is determined to speak to state legislators to find out "if there is any further action we can take to keep this chain out of Bloomfield."
Chick-fil-A continues to be one of the largest fast food chains in the country and is best known for their chicken sandwiches. The company is owned by the the second and third generations of the Cathy family. Its late founder, S. Truett Cathy and his family have long been outspoken about his Christian faith. All Chick-fil-A stores are closed for business on Sundays as part of its commitment to Sunday Sabbatarianism.