Chick-fil-A has been banned from operating as a food vendor in the Buffalo Niagara International Airport after a Democrat New York assemblyman tweeted the restaurant supports “anti-LGBTQ organizations.”
After hospitality management company Delaware North and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) approved of plans to incorporate Chick-fil-A into its airport renovation plans, Democrat Assemblyman Sean Ryan called upon the authority Friday to reverse its decision, reported New York Upstate.
By the end of the day, Ryan said the privately-held family restaurant business was banned from the airport project:
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
“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, adding:
I applaud the decision that has been made to remove Chick-fil-A from the plans for this project. We hope in the future the NFTA will make every effort to contract with businesses that adhere to anti-discrimination policies, and we’re confident another vendor who better represents the values of the Western New York community will replace Chick-fil-A as a part of this project in the very near future.
When Ryan heard of NFTA’s decision include Chick-fil-A in its renovation plans, the Democrat took to Twitter to say he was “disappointed” by the plan:
— Assemblyman Sean Ryan (@SeanMRyan149) March 29, 2019
“Chick-fil-A has a long history of supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ organizations,” Ryan said. “In fact, the San Antonio City Council recently rejected a plan to open a Chick-fil-A at the San Antonio International Airport due to the company’s discriminatory advocacy.”
The assemblyman touted New York’s ban on state-funded travel to North Carolina, saying the state engaged in “transgender discrimination” when it voted to protect the privacy and safety of its citizens by continuing single-sex bathrooms and other legal and civic distinctions between biological males and females.
New York “currently has a state-funded travel ban in place for travel to North Carolina due to a law allowing for transgender discrimination that is on the books until 2020,” Ryan said.
“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,” he said.
The ban on Chick-fil-A at the Buffalo airport comes in the wake of a similar ban enacted by the San Antonio City Council.
However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday he plans to investigate whether the San Antonio City Council violated the First Amendment when it banned the restaurant from its airport because of its owners’ Christian values:
The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A based on the religious beliefs associated with the company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance. It’s discriminatory, and not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law. pic.twitter.com/iOk7G9Eltv
— Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 28, 2019
Texas Attorney General will investigate San Antonio’s ban on Chick-fil-A at their airport. The ban has the stench of religious discrimination against Chick-fil-A. @KenPaxtonTX #txlege https://t.co/W8AKypXozB
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 28, 2019
Roberto Treviño, San Antonio District 1 City Councilman, moved to ban Chick-fil-A from its list of airport vendors. Six council members approved the motion to ban the restaurant, while four voted against it.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion,” Treviño said, according to NBC News 4. “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.”
However, Texas Rep. Chip Roy tweeted a letter he sent to the San Antonio City Council in which he reacted to Treviño’s comment:
I wrote the council a letter this week outlining my concerns. Targeting individuals, organizations, or corporations for carrying out there deeply-held religious beliefs in accord with our laws and consistent with many Americans' similarly held religious beliefs is not "inclusion" pic.twitter.com/xVoB2W5TjG
— Rep. Chip Roy (@RepChipRoy) March 29, 2019
“Targeting individuals, organizations, or corporations for carrying out their deeply held religious beliefs in accord with our laws and consistent with many Americans’ similarly held religious beliefs is hardly making San Antonio a champion of ‘equality and inclusion,’” Roy asserted.
As Breitbart News reported, Chick-fil-A was slated to become one of the San Antonio airport’s food vendors until Think Progress brought attention to the restaurant’s contributions to Christian youth organizations and charitable groups such as the Salvation Army.
Chick-fil-A states on its website that the company continues to uphold the biblical principles that guided the founding of its business by S. Truett Cathy.
While some have questioned the motives behind our donations, we want to take a moment to reiterate the mission and focus of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, which has always been and always will be to donate to programs that support a diverse array of youth and educational programs nationwide. The 140,000 people who serve customers on a daily basis represent and embrace all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.
In December 2018, Breitbart News reported Kalinowski Equity Research told Marketwatch that Chick-fil-A’s popularity is growing faster than expected. The restaurant is now on track to become the third largest fast food chain in the United States, catching up to publicly-traded competitors such as McDonalds and Wendy’s.
“We have long pointed out that Chick-fil-A is the restaurant competition with which McDonald’s U.S. should most concern itself – and by extension, investors should too,” said Kalinowski Equity Research in a statement. “But this goes beyond McDonald’s.”
According to the restaurant’s website, in 2018, Chick-fil-A was recognized for customer experience in the Temkin Experience Ratings survey, and was named “Best Franchise Brand” by Airport Revenue News.
Also, in 2018, Chick-fil-A was presented with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award for being among the top 100 best places to work. Additionally, Chick-fil-A was included in Glassdoor’s Top 100 CEOs.
The restaurant was included as well in 2018 in Forbes’ list of best employers and as a National Society of High School Scholars top employer.