Wayfarers passing through San Antonio International Airport will be out of luck if they’re craving Chick-fil-A's crispy chicken or waffle fries, as the city council has banned the chicken-centric chain from opening up shop in the air hub due to the company’s alleged “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
On Thursday, six members of the San Antonio City Council rejected the inclusion of Chick-fil-A from the new Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concession Agreement for the airport, KTSA reports. The seven-year contract for concession management at the terminal is expected to create $2.1 million in revenue for the Texas city; the motion that passed gave the green light to food shops including Smoke Shack and Local Coffee.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion," Councilman Roberto Treviño said of the vote, as per 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 behavior."
"Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport," he continued.
The day before, Think Progress published tax documents revealing that in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave over $1.8 million in charitable donations to some organizations that have come under scrutiny regarding their stance on LGBTQ issues.
Over $1.65 million of that contribution was given to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which writes in an online “Statement of Faith” that it believes “marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman,” and believes “sexual intimacy” should only be expressed “within [that] context,” CBS News reports.
A rep for Chick-fil-A, Inc. returned Fox News’ request for comment on the San Antonio airport ban with the following statement:
“The press release issued by Councilmember Treviño was the first we heard of his motion and its approval by the San Antonio City Council. We agree with him that everyone is and should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A,” the rep said. “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,” they continued. “Our intent is to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
“We would still welcome the opportunity to have a thoughtful dialogue with the city council and plan to reach out to them. It’s unfortunate that mischaracterizations of our brand have led to decisions like this,” the rep concluded. “The sole focus of the Chick-fil-A Foundation is to support causes focused on youth and education. We are proud of the positive impact we are making in communities across America and have been transparent about our giving on our web site.”
The news marks the second time in recent months that Chick-fil-A has been banned from launching a new location in a commercial hotspot due to the company’s supposed LGBTQ stance.
In November 2018, Rider University made headlines for turning down a student body survey that voted to bring Chick-fil-A to campus as a new fast-food option, citing concerns over the company’s attitudes toward the LGBTQ community.
The school said in a statement that the Chick-fil-A option was removed “based on the company's record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community." It admitted that the move could be perceived as a “form of exclusion,” but the institution wanted to remain “faithful to our values of inclusion.”
The chain pushed back against the university's characterization, saying the restaurant is merely providing food and doesn't have any agenda.
In early March, Cynthia Newman, the dean of the College of Business at Rider University, elected to resign from her position regarding the Chick-fil-A ban. Newman said she made the decision on the basis of her “very committed” Christian faith, detailing that she could not support the university’s choice to bar the chain "in good conscience.”
Fox News’ Michael Bartiromo, Lukas Mikelionis, Caleb Parke and the Associated Press contributed to this report.