Chick-fil-A drops fight for San Antonio airport location
Chick-fil-A dropped its fight to open a location in the San Antonio International Airport after city officials had initially blocked the chain from doing so before giving in after federal investigation.
“We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service,” Chick-fil-A said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.
“While we are not pursuing a location in the San Antonio airport at this time, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve San Antonians in our 32 existing restaurants,” the chain said.
Six of 10 San Antonio City Council members voted in March 2019 to pass a concessions agreement that excluded Chick-fil-A from opening in the city-owned airport, citing the company’s “anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
The disagreement soon became the subject of two lawsuits and a federal investigation against the city. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) also signed a bill last year defending Chick-fil-A and religious freedom.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had opened an investigation to determine whether San Antonio officials violated federal law by denying the location to Chick-fil-A based on the owner’s religious beliefs.
He requested that U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao also launch a probe, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate the dispute. The FAA investigation ended with an informal agreement between city and FAA officials to offer Chick-fil-A a spot in the airport, according to a letter sent to Paxton last week.
Paxton praised the resolution in a statement, calling it “a win for religious liberty in Texas.”
“To exclude a respected vendor based on religious beliefs is the opposite of tolerance and is inconsistent with the Constitution, Texas law, and Texas values,” he said.
A city spokesperson told San Antonio TV station KSAT that city officials offered an informal resolution after Chick-fil-A announced a “change-of-position on its charitable giving policy.”
“The city maintains that at no point did it discriminate against Chick-fil-A,” the spokesperson said.
In a statement to The Hill, the FAA said it would “continue to monitor the matter.”
The fast-food chain has been seen as anti-LGBTQ for years following CEO Dan Cathy’s comments that Chick-fil-A backs “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
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