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By Janelle Griffith
The San Antonio City Council voted recently to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant at San Antonio International Airport, citing what it called the company’s “legacy of anti-LGBT behavior.”
The council voted 6-4 Thursday to approve a concession agreement for the airport that includes chains such as Smoke Shack BBQ and Boss Wood Fired Bagels and Coffee, provided it excluded a Chick-fil-A concept.
The vote came a day after Think Progress reported that newly released tax documents show the fast-food chain donated $1.8 million in 2017 to groups that discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
San Antonio Councilman Roberto Treviño said the council’s action affirms the city’s efforts 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 a statement, adding that everyone should feel welcome when they walk through the city’s airport.
A spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A told NBC News on Monday that it wished it had gotten the opportunity to “clarify misperceptions” about the fast food chain prior to the vote.
“We agree with the council member that everyone should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A,” Leigh Jackson said. “In fact, we have welcomed everyone in San Antonio into our 32 local stores for more than 40 years.”
She said the company invites the city council to “a thoughtful dialogue” on the issue and to visit local stores.
“We hope they will experience for themselves that Chick-fil-A embraces all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity,” Jackson said.
In regard to the Think Progress report, Jackson told NBC News that it has been transparent on its website about its youth and education-focused giving.
“To suggest our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading,” she said.