Chick-fil-A has been barred from opening up a new restaurant inside the San Antonio International Airport due to its alleged “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
The San Antonio City Council on Thursday narrowly voted to exclude the fast food joint from a seven-year concessions agreement for new restaurants and businesses at the Texas airport, to be operated by concessionaire Paradies Legardere.
The agreement was for a 10,000 square foot concession space, slated to include not only Chick-fil-A, but a Smoke Shack, a coffee shop, bar and a San Antonio Spurs retail store, ABC News reported. The chicken joint was set to fill 658 square feet of the space at a cost of $366,507 annually.
The lease would’ve started on Jan. 1, 2020.
Council members amended the initial plans to ban Chick-fil-A from setting up shop at the airport, with several expressing concern over its stance on LGBTQ issues. It was approved by a 6-4 vote.
Councilman Roberto Treviño said in a statement that the approval of the amendment reaffirms “the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion.”
“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 behavior,” he continued. “Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, on the other hand, was less pleased with the councils’s decision.
“The citizens of beautiful San Antonio desreve more delicious sandwiches and fewer rabid attacks against companies because of their charitable giving,” he said in a tweet.
Earlier this week ThinkProgress, citing recently released tax filings, reported the Chick-fil-A Foundation had donated more than $1.8 million to three groups with a history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in 2017.
But ccusations of anti-LGBTQ behavior against Chick-fil-A dates back years. CEO Dan Cathy in 2012 sparked backlash and a widespread boycott after he said the United States was “inviting God’s judgement on our nation when we shake our fist at him and we say we know better than you as to what constitutes marriage. ”
The remarks also sparked a counter-protest, created by then-Fox News host Mike Huckabee called “Chick-fil-A appreciation Day.” The company apologized in the end however, saying it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and the political arena.”
Chick-fil-A in a statement to USA Today said that Treviño’s press release was the “first we heard of this motion and its approval by the San Antonio City Council.”
“We wish we had the opportunity to clarify misconceptions about our company prior to the vote. We agree with the councilmember that everyone should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A,” the statement continued.
“In fact, we have welcomed everyone in San Antonio into our 32 local stores for more than 40 years.”
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