If we can’t ban you from opening up shop, we are redecorating your space to our liking. That’s what Chick-fil-A is finding out.
In San Jose, the City Council has voted to decorate the Chick-fil-A location in the Mineta-San Jose International Airport with gay pride and transgender pride flags. The decision comes just 35 days before the eatery was expected to open, and was made as an antidote to the restaurant chain’s history of anti-LGBTQ+ donations.
“This is public space,” said Paul Escobar, president of Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, a non-partisan LGBTQ+ political action group, at a City Council meeting according to Mercury News. “We know that this is a strong and inclusive community. We need to make sure that businesses there respect these values.”
Chick-fil-A had already been approved to open the location in 2018. And while they were in no place to halt that contract now, they did move to in ways to push back against the chicken spot’s reputation. First, and most prominently are the flags, which will decorate not only the airport at large but also outside Chick-fil-A in particular.
Councilman Raul Peralez also called for queer and trans employees to be hired in an effort to make it the “gayest Chick-fil-A in the country.” In addition, the Council imposed a measure that will withhold contract extensions for businesses that don’t operate seven days a week — Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays.
The moves are only the latest in a thread of airport-centric actions taken in the wake of reports that the chain donated $1.8 million to anti-LGBTQ+ charities in 2017. Previously the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the San Antonio International Airport banned the restaurant from opening locations.