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Chick-fil-A banned from New York airport after continued anti-LGBT donations

Ella Braidwood April 2, 2019
Chick-fil-A branch

Chick-fil-A in Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Chick-fil-A has been banned by another airport in the US after protests over the company’s anti-LGBT+ record.

Plans for a Chick-fil-A branch to open at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in the state of New York were reportedly shelved following opposition to the company’s continued donations to anti-LGBT+ groups, reports ABC7 local-affiliate WKBW.

It comes just a week after the fast food chain was banned from opening a new outlet at San Antonio International Airport in Texas because of the business’ anti-LGBT+ history.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Delaware North (NFTA) reportedly went back on proposals for a Chick-fil-A restaurant at the airport, having announced them less than 24 hours before, following pressure from Buffalo Assemblyman Sean Ryan.

“We are working with Delaware North to move forward on identifying and offering best in class food selections for the thousands of customers who come in and out of our airport,” the NFTA said in a statement to WKBW.

The shelving of the proposals at airports in New York and Texas follows a recent investigation by US news website ThinkProgress, which revealed that Chick-fil-A donated more than $1.8 million to anti-gay organisations in 2017.

Buffalo airport reverses plans for Chick-fil-A branch

Ryan, meanwhile, posted a statement on Twitter calling for the plans to be dropped.

“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.

After the NFTA reversed its decision, Ryan posted: “A publicly financed facility like the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is not the appropriate venue for a Chick-fil-A restaurant.

“We hope in the future the NFTA will make every effort to contract with businesses that adhere to anti-discriminatory 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.”

“Allowing a corporation like Chick-fil-A to do business at te Buffalo Niagara International Airport will help to fund continued divisive anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.”

– Buffalo Assembly member Sean Ryan

In a statement to WKBW, Chick-fil-A said that recent press coverage of the business drove an “inaccurate narrative about our brand.”

The company added: “We do not have a political or social agenda or discriminate against any group…We embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

A plane representing Chick-fil-A being banned from an airport in New York
Chick-fil-A will not be getting a branch at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. (Pexels)

ThinkProgress found that the restaurant company, which has around 2,000 branches in the US, gave $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2017.

The publication reports that Chick-fil-A also donated $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home and $150,000 to the Salvation Army in the same year.

Chick-fil-A’s gay rights history

Chick-fil-A has previously been criticised for donating large sums of money to anti-LGBT+ groups and opposing equal marriage,

In 2012, it emerged that Chick-fil-A had donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including the Family Research Council, ‘gay cure’ group Exodus International and Focus on the Family.

CEO Dan Cathy later confirmed the company was opposed to marriage equality and “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.”

Cathy told Baptist Press at the time: “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”However, the company later put out a statement on Facebook following backlash, saying it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

More: chick-fil-a, US

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