LGBT advocate helps Chick-Fil-A get approval to set up restaurant in West Hartford

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WEST HARTFORD--A new Chick-Fil-A is coming to the area, but it hasn't been received with open arms.

The fast food restaurant will be setting up shop on New Park Avenue in West Hartford after the Town Council approved the company's application Tuesday night.

However, it took some convincing for some members of the Town Council. Chick-Fil-A had a very public push back after it was revealed the company was against same-sex marriage and donated to organizations that felt the same way.

However, Town Council member Beth Kerrigan feels Chick-Fil-A has atoned for its past and has changed.

Kerrigan was one of the lead plaintiffs in the 2008 state Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, so getting her approval wasn't easy, but it happened.

"The change is that they are contributing no money to any known anti-gay, anti-lesbian causes at all," Kerrigan said. "That their donations, in terms of their taxes, all show that they're going for Habitat for Humanity, or for children in need."

And she doesn't regret her vote. "I felt very comfortable," she said.

But others disagree. Some community groups protested the addition to town based on the company's past.

"There are some individuals in the LGBT community that are holding onto what they did--what Chick-Fil-A did--and they don't want to let go, and that's an unfortunate thing," said Kerrigan.

She argues the restaurant will be good for West Hartford, opening up 80 to 100 new jobs.

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