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California airport to open a Chick-fil-A — but city council isn’t happy: Make it the ‘gayest Chick-fil-A in the country’
Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California airport to open a Chick-fil-A — but city council isn’t happy: Make it the ‘gayest Chick-fil-A in the country’

Some people just can't let it go

Council members in San Jose, California, aren't happy that a Chick-fil-A is set to open at the Mineta San Jose International Airport in May.

The franchise's airport site approval went through in 2018 for a period of six years, but city council members are regretting the move.

Now the council is saying that they will not approve any extensions for the franchise, and the business will remain open only under a six-year operations deal.

What are the details?

The planned opening of the restaurant has drawn protests and sparked outrage among city council members.

Taking their ire even further, the city council placed LGBTQ flags all around the airport in hopes of making it the "gayest Chick-fil-A in the country," according to one member, to rail against the company's supposed "anti-LGBT stance."

Ken Yeager, an openly gay former county supervisor, told the San Jose Spotlight that he was heartsick over the opening of the restaurant.

"My heart just sank when I saw the construction wall [at the airport]," he said. "I've been doing LGBTQ rights activities for 35 years. I remember when this city was not welcoming, and we've come a long way. I feel like this is a throwback to those times."

Council member Pam Foley said that her brother died of AIDS more than two decades ago, and Chick-fil-A's presence personally affects her.

"When I hear of an injustice specifically to the LGBTQ community, I take it to heart," she explained. "Going forward, I hope that we are very sensitive as it relates to all of our diverse populations."

According to KTVU-TV, Yeager added, "This is going to be people's first impression of San Jose and what are they going to see is a store that is known for its anti-gay attitudes."

Council members also said that they rejected the business' extension bid because it would not open on Sundays, which is reportedly one of the airport's busiest travel days.

City Attorney Rick Doyle reportedly suggested that the council members not reject the company's bid on religious or political grounds — as it would possibly violate First Amendment rights — so the council reportedly rejected the extension bid based on the fact that the company is not open on Sundays.

What else?

In March, San Antonio International Airport in Texas announced that Chick-fil-A would not be permitted to operate at the airport, nixing plans for a potential site.

The airport blamed the decision on the company's "legacy of anti-LGBTQ" behaviors."

That same month, an airport in Buffalo, New York, made a similar announcement, blaming the decision on allegations that the business doesn't adhere to anti-discrimination policies.

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