Chick-fil-A will no long be opening a restaurant inside Buffalo Niagara International Airport following outcry from LGBTQ+ campaigners, just days after they were halted from launching an outlet in San Antonio over alleged homophobic rhetoric.
The company was given the green light to open a branch of the popular chicken chain in the renovated air hub Thursday, but Assemblyman Sean Ryan hit out at the decision citing Chick-fil-A’s alleged contributions towards controversial groups.
This appears to have prompted a U-turn by hospitality management company Delaware North and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA).
He said on Twitter that it was wrong for the state-funded entity to do business ‘with corporations who fund hateful and divisive groups’ – specifically, Chick-fil-A’s financial contributions to groups that fuel anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.’
Adding: ‘I strongly urge the NFTA to reverse this decision,’ the Democratic lawmaker wrote online.
‘I don’t believe the leadership of the NFTA intends to help spread hate and discrimination, but allowing a corporation like Chick-fil-A to do business at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport will help to fund continued divisive anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. New York is a welcoming state that celebrates diversity.’
Ryan applauded the decision and said: ‘We hope in the future the NFTA will make every effort to contract with businesses that adhere to anti-discrimination policies, and we’re confident another vendor who better represents the values of the Western New York community will replace Chick-fil-A as a part of this project in the very near future.’
Texas’ attorney general opened an investigation Thursday into San Antonio’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from opening airport concession facilities due to the fast-food chain owners’ record on LGBT issues.
Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the investigation in a letter to San Antonio officials and stated his office will examine whether Texas’ second-largest city violated state law with the rejection.
Paxton called the move ‘the opposite of tolerance’ and a ‘discriminatory decision’ based on the religious beliefs of the chain’s owners.
‘The Constitution’s protection of religious liberty is somehow even better than Chick-fil-A’s chicken,’ Paxton said in the letter. ‘Unfortunately, I have serious concerns that both are under assault at the San Antonio airport.’
The attorney general’s action comes after the San Antonio City Council voted 6-4 last week to block Chick-fil-A from getting a new concession contract at the airport. The councilmembers voted instead for city staff to find another company for the contract.
‘The City’s Attorney’s Office is reviewing the letter. I am withholding comment until we have had adequate time to analyze it,’ San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in an emailed statement.
Councilman Manny Pelaez said at the meeting that Chick-fil-A has a history of funding anti-LGBTQ organizations that support and advocate for gay conversion therapy. Pelaez said approving the restaurant would ‘help them fund those efforts by making money off of our airport.’
Paxton also told San Antonio officials he asked Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to investigate whether the city’s actions violated federal law and regulations prohibiting religious discrimination by federal grant recipients.
Paxton has made religious freedom battles a focus of his office since being elected in 2014.
The Atlanta-based fast-food chain has faced opposition elsewhere over donating millions over the years to groups that oppose same-sex marriage.
In 2012, the company’s chief operating officer criticized same-sex marriage, prompting some politicians to block the chain from expanding in certain areas.
Earlier this month, a dean at Rider University in New Jersey resigned over the school’s decision to not consider bringing Chick-fil-A to campus because of its opposition to the LGBT community.
SOURCE: Daily Mail