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Chick-fil-A blocked from airport concession locations

Donations to anti-LGBTQ groups ground the chicken chain in Buffalo and San Antonio

For the second time in two weeks, Chick-fil-A has been removed from concession plans for airport dining amid criticism of the company’s stance on LGBTQ issues.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York earlier this week reversed its decision to add a location of the chicken chain at the facility. The move came a week after San Antonio International Airport in Texas did the same. In both cities, officials cited charitable donations by the company and support of anti-LGBTQ groups.

The reversal by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), which manages the Buffalo airport, came following criticism from New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan.

“Chick-fil-A has a long history of supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ organizations,” he wrote in a Facebook post urging the NFTA to reconsider its plans. “As a state entity, the NFTA has a responsibility to avoid doing business with corporations who fund hateful and divisive groups,”

In a statement, Chick-fil-A cited an “inaccurate narrative” about the brand.

“We want to make it clear that our sole focus is on providing delicious food and welcoming everyone — not being a part of a national political conversation,” the statement said. “We do not have a political or social agenda. More than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand. We embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

In San Antonio, the city council abandoned plans for its airport Chick-fil-A days after ThinkProgress reported in late March that the Chick-fil-A Foundation had donated more than $1.8 million to three anti-LGBTQ organizations.

Chick-fil-A defended the contributions of its charitable arm on its website, saying that the mission of the Chick-fil-A Foundation “has always been and always will be to donate to programs that support a diverse array of youth and educational programs nationwide.”

Chick-fil-A had U.S. systemwide sales of $10.46 billion in fiscal 2018, up 16.7% from the year before, according to NRN Top 200 data. It ended the year with more than 2,300 restaurants.

Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson

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