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Chick-fil-A to Get Rainbow Flags in California, Another Chance at Texas Airport and Still Shut Out in Buffalo

Chick-fil-A has been on the minds of some city leaders this week from New York to California, by way of Texas. San Antonio may reverse its decision of banning the restaurant from its airport, operators of the Buffalo airport doubled down on barring it from that travel hub, and San Jose will fly the rainbow flags in front of the Chick-fil-A at their airport.

The Atlanta-based, fast food restaurant chain typically only gets this much press when it sponsors college football’s annual Peach Bowl.

The San Antonio City Council, which voted by a 6-4 margin in late March to keep a Chick-fil-A franchise out of its airport, announced Thursday it will look to revisit the decision and possibly make an amendment that would allow the chicken restaurant after all.

While the city initially stated it didn’t agree with Chick-fil-A’s — and its founder Truett Cathy's — past practice of donating money to anti-LGBTQ organizations, and that San Antonio only wanted to do business with companies that were inclusive to all people, it is now considering to allow the chicken chain so they, too, can be all-inclusive, according to KTSA.

“Every day the Chick-fil-A removal decision is allowed to stand hurts our reputation nationwide as a welcoming and inclusive city. It sends a message we are anti-faith and we cannot stand by without speaking the truth and standing up for our principles,” San Antonio council member Greg Brockhouse said. “The removal of Chick-fil-A has embarrassed San Antonio. It does not reflect who we are as a community. We have a chance to correct this mistake by reinstating Chick-fil-A and sending a message that we are open for all, open for faith and open for business.”

The San Antonio will next see the matter on their April 18 agenda, with a pending final vote on May 2. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in late March that his office was investigating the Chick-fil-A ban, and that he had asked U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to probe whether the city had violated federal laws or regulations.

Still On Ice In Buffalo

After San Antonio voted to ban Chick-fil-A from its airport, the restaurant operators of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport—a foodservice company called Delaware North—decided to exclude Chick-fil-A as well. The chicken chain had previously been approved by Delaware North and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, but New York Assemblyman Sean Ryan slammed NFTA for allowing a restaurant that “has a long history of supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ organizations.”

"I strongly urge the NFTA to reverse this decision,” Ryan wrote on Twitter. "I don’t believe the leadership of the NFTA intends to help spread hate and discrimination, but allowing a corporation like Chick-fil-A to do business at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport will help to fund continued divisive anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. New York is a welcoming state that celebrates diversity.”

Delaware North ultimately barred Chick-fil-A, and the decision was addressed again this week after the news made national headlines.

The Buffalo News reported that Delaware North met Monday with NFTA — the state-run company that controls the air hub — and stood firm on its decision to keep Chick-fil-A out of the Buffalo airport.

Rainbow Pride In San Jose

And two days ago, the San Jose, California, City Council unanimously voted to fly rainbow flags outside of the Chick-fil-A in their local airport to support the LGBTQ community and a pink, blue and white flag to support the transgender community, according to NBC News.

"I made the suggestion to put the flags next to the restaurant, and council members liked that idea but also said that maybe put flags elsewhere, too, like outside," said San Jose Mayor Ken Yeager, who’s the first openly-gay mayor in in Santa Clara County. The report stated that flags will fly both near the restaurant inside the airport, and at another location outside the airport.

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