For the second time in two weeks, conservative-leaning chain Chick-fil-A has been blocked from opening a new restaurant in an airport. According to New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan, plans to open a Chick-fil-A in the food court of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport have been scrapped because of the chain’s history of donating to groups with anti-LGBTQ agendas. Last week, a similar decision was made regarding a proposed location at the San Antonio International Airport.
Update: I applaud the decision that has been made to remove Chick-fil-A from plans for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Thank you to everyone who reached out to share their opinion. pic.twitter.com/HA5t1CjwkV— Assemblyman Sean Ryan (@SeanMRyan149) March 29, 2019
Last Thursday, Ryan tweeted a statement condemning the decision by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Delaware North to bring Chick-fil-A to the airport, and now it seems that the management has disinvited the chain from opening in the food court. “A publicly financed facility like the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is not the appropriate venue for a Chick-fil-A restaurant,” Ryan said in a statement. “I applaud the decision that has been made to remove Chick-fil-A from the plans for this project.”
Chick-fil-A has a long and well-documented history of donating money to anti-LGBTQ groups. The chain faced backlash seven years ago when news broke that the company’s charitable endeavor WinShape Foundation donated millions of dollars to groups with with anti-LGBTQ agendas. And just last week, ThinkProgress reported that Chick-fil-A gave $1.65 million in 2017 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a group with a “sexual purity” policy for its employees banning “homosexual acts.” The chain also made smaller donations to a Christian residential home that has a history of opposing gay marriage, and the Salvation Army, an organization that has been accused of LGBTQ discrimination in the past.
Chick-fil-A released a statement about getting dropped by these two airports:
Recent coverage about Chick-fil-A continues to drive an inaccurate narrative about our brand. We do not have a political or social agenda or discriminate against any group. More than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand. We embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Of course, the group’s donations to organizations with explicitly anti-LGBTQ agendas tell a different story. Stay tuned for any updates on the Chick-fil-A airport fallout as they become available.
• Chick-Fil-A won’t be taking orders at Buffalo airport [USA Today]
• Chick-fil-A scrapped at Buffalo Niagara International Airport [Springfield News-Sun]
• Chick-Fil-A no longer in the plans for Buffalo airport [WGRZ]
• Chick-fil-A Loses San Antonio Airport Deal Over Donations to Anti-LGBTQ Groups [E]