Chick-fil-A banned from opening at San Antonio airport, council members cite LGBTQ issues
USA TODAY Travel expert Christopher Elliott offers the tips you need for eating well at the airport.
Chick-fil-A has been banned from opening up a new location at the San Antonio International Airport.
On Thursday, the San Antonio City Council approved a seven-year concessions agreement for new restaurants and businesses in Terminal A of the Texas airport with Paradies Lagardère, a travel retailer and restaurateur that works with more than 100 airports.
Chick-fil-A was initially in the plans, but council members amended the plans to exclude the chicken restaurant, with some citing concerns with its record on LGBTQ issues. The amendment was approved by a 6-4 vote.
Councilman Roberto Treviño said in a statement after the vote that, with the decision, the council "reaffirmed 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," Treviño said in the statement. “Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A said in a statement to USA TODAY that "the press release issued by the councilmember was the first we heard of his motion and its approval by the San Antonio City Council."
Giant lobster claws: Some Costco stores selling massive lobster claws, shoppers say
"We wish we had the opportunity to clarify misperceptions about our company prior to the vote. We agree with the councilmember that everyone should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A," the company said in the statement. "In fact, we have welcomed everyone in San Antonio into our 32 local stores for more than 40 years."
In its statement, Chick-fil-A said it "would welcome the opportunity to have a thoughtful dialogue with the city council and we invite all of them into our local stores to interact with the more than 2,000 team members who are serving the people of San Antonio."
The council's decision came a day after ThinkProgress reported that the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $1.8 million to groups that discriminate against the LGBTQ community in 2017, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Elizabeth Keatinge tells us about a tasty sandwich that has a secret ingredient that may make it taste even better when airborne. Buzz60
According to the city documents, the new businesses planned for the airport include: Smoke Shack BBQ and Southern Kitchen, Boss Wood Fired Bagels & Coffee, Sip Brew Bar and Market, Local Coffee, the Spurs Store and iStore/Adina’s Market.
“The more than 34 million tourists who visit San Antonio annually already know about San Antonio’s unique ambiance, history and culture,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a statement. “Giving them an opportunity to taste some of our city’s finest local culinary delights at the airport will enhance the city’s appeal encouraging further exploration and longer stays.”
Get it while it's hot: KFC is bringing back its popular Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles
Follow Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko