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Chick-fil-A banned from opening at San Antonio airport due to ‘anti-LGBT behaviour’

Fast food chain has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT charities

Olivia Petter
Sunday 24 March 2019 20:54 GMT
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(Getty Images)

Chick-fil-A has been banned from opening a kiosk at San Antonio International Airport in Texas due to its alleged anti-LGBT+ bias.

The City Council voted 6-4 in favour of a motion that would exclude the Georgia-based chicken chain from the airport’s restaurant and concession space on Thursday after it was put forward by councilman Roberto C Treviño.

“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion,” Mr Treviño told News 4 San Antonio.

“San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behaviour.

“Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport,” he added.

Chick-fil-A described the decision as “disappointing” and said in a statement: “We agree with [Mr Treviño] that everyone is and should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A. We have a fundamental code of conduct at Chick-fil-A: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

“The 140,000 people who serve customers in our restaurants on a daily basis represent and embrace all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity,” it continued. “Our intent is to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The lease that Chick-fil-A would’ve been granted had Treviño’s motion not been passed would’ve begun in January 2020 and would’ve entitled the company to fill a 658 square foot space in an area run by airport concessionaire Paradies Lagardère.

Texan senator Ted Cruz described the council’s decision as “ridiculous” in a tweet, adding that it was “not Texas”.

The news comes just days after new tax filings revealed that in 2017, Chick-fil-A, which is run on its founder’s conservative Christian beliefs, had donated more than $1.6m (£1.2m) to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which requires its employees to refrain from “homosexual acts,” according to ThinkProgress.

It also gave $6,000 (£4,500) to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which teaches boys that same-sex marriage is “rage against Jesus Christ and His values”.

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You can read more about the controversies that have surrounded Chick-fil-A in recent years regarding its stance on LGBT+ rights here.

A spokesperson for Chick-fil-A, Inc. provided The Independent with the following statement when asked for a comment:

“The press release issued by the councilmember was the first we heard of his motion and its approval by the San Antonio City Council," they said.

"We wish we had the opportunity to clarify misperceptions about our company prior to the vote. We agree with the councilmember that everyone should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A.

"We would welcome the opportunity to have a thoughtful dialogue with the city council and we invite all of them into our local stores to interact with the more than 2,000 team members who are serving the people of San Antonio.

"We hope they will experience for themselves that Chick-fil-A embraces all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."

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