The airport in San Antonio, Texas is getting a new look, including the dining area. But as of this week, that look won’t include Chick-fil-A. The City Council has decided to take a stand for intersectionality or something and ban the delicious chicken outfit from the property. There’s a staggering number of things wrong with this decision, but let’s start with the coverage from the Daily Caller.
The San Antonio City Council banned Chick-fil-A from San Antonio International Airport over “anti-LGBTQ behavior” as part of a new concession plan for the airport.
District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño motioned to approve the Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concession Agreement with Paradies Lagardère for the airport Thursday on condition Chick-fil-A be excluded from the agreement. Treviño asserted Chick-fil-A has a “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior” and that such a business had no place in the city’s airport.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion. 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,” Treviño said according to ABC.
It’s been known for some time now that Chick-fil-A is “controversial” in liberal circles because of the founder’s Christian beliefs and practices. (They still don’t open on Sundays.) CEO Dan Cathy has been outspoken about those beliefs, drawing particular ire from liberals for his views on gay marriage. But in the end, Chick-fil-A is a business, plain and simple.
If people wish to boycott the franchise and vote with their wallets, that’s up to them. Your right to free speech doesn’t include the right to force other people to agree with you or patronize your business. But when the government (at any level) gets involved, now we’re talking about an entirely different situation. There are any number of situations where the local government could shut down or bar the opening of a restaurant. The property in question might not be zoned for such a business. The restaurant might fail some sort of health inspection. They might have violated the fire codes. These would all be suitable reasons.
What the government can not do is close down or bar the opening of an establishment based on the statements or opinions of the owner. The CEO of Chick-fil-A could be a vocal Christian, a Nazi sympathizer or a conspiracy theorist. As long as the establishment is in compliance with the appropriate codes and laws, the city needs to allow them to conduct business.
The San Antonio City Council has grossly overstepped their authority here and violated the rights of the company. They’re not championing “equality and inclusion” when they tromp on the rights of one group in order to curry favor with a more politically palatable demographic. If they can’t be made to see the light, Chick-fil-A should take them to court and have them brought into compliance. If enough people using the airport are upset over Chick-fil-A being there, they’ll avoid eating there and the place will go out of business soon enough. But given how tasty those sandwiches are, I’d be surprised if that happened.