Chick-Fil-A Left Out of San Antonio Airport Deal

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday March 26, 2019

The company whose CEO opposed marriage equality by saying in 2012 that allowing it would be "inviting God's judgment on our nation," and whose foundation was recently found to have given anti-LGBTQ groups almost $2 million in donations, has lost a few business opportunities over the years thanks to its anti-LGBTQ past.

Last week saw another opportunity slip through the company's fingers when the city council of San Antonio, Texas voted to allow a number of chains to open new locations at the city's airport — but only if Chick-Fil-A were excluded from the list, reported NBC News.

NBC noted that the vote came about in the immediate wake of revelations that tax records show the company's foundation had given nearly $2 million to a trio of anti-0LGBTQ organizations in 2017. As reported at EDGE last week, the bulk of the money — more than $1.5 million — went to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which a ThinkProgress report says "is a religious organization that seeks to spread an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes and requires a strict 'sexual purity' policy for its employees that bars any 'homosexual acts.' "

The other two anti-LGBTQ beneficiaries of the foundation's largesse are the historically homophobic Salvation Army, which reaped a contribution of $150,000 from Chick-fil-a, and "Christian residential home for troubled youth" that teaches anti-LGBTQ views to its clients, including a claim that two devoted people of the same gender formalizing their commitment through civil marriage constitute a form of "rage against Jesus Christ and His values," the ThinkProgress report noted.

NBC said that the city council referenced the company's "legacy of anti-LGBT behavior."

One San Antonio council member, Roberto Treviño, issued a statement in which he said, "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,"

A company spokesman said that Chick-Fil-A is agreement with those sentiments, and said, "In fact, we have welcomed everyone in San Antonio into our 32 local stores for more than 40 years."

Though the company has tried to distance itself from the 2012 comments of its CEO, Chick-Fil-A still does not guarantee specific workplace nondiscrimination for LGBTQ employees, ThinkProgress noted.

Earlier this year, a New Jersey university declined to allow the chain to operate on its campus. That decision prompted the resignation of a dean who indicated that the university's decision was an affront to her Christian faith. (The dean in question did not, however, resign her faculty position.)

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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