In a move destined to invite a collective “huh?” from all sides of the political divide, a city councilman for the city of San Jose has declared that a new Chick-fil-A in the San Jose airport will be the “gayest in the country.”
Councilman Raul Peralez made the declaration at a city council meeting on Tuesday night in response to a heated debate over the Chick-fil-A opening in the city airport. Advocates of queer rights had protested the addition to the airport because of Chick-fil-A’s long opposition to LGBTQ equality.
“My heart just sank when I saw the construction wall,” said Ken Yeager, a former County Supervisor. “I’ve been doing LGBTQ rights activities for 35 years. I remember when this city was not welcoming and we’ve come a long way. I feel like this is a throwback to those times.” He also suggested hanging Pride Flags in and around the restaurant as a countermeasure to Chick-fil-A’s hostility.
The city council eventually adopted Yeager’s suggestion, and though several members also voiced concern about the hateful policies of the fast-food chain, allowed the opening–planned for next month–to move forward. The council did, however, deny a request by Chick-fil-A to extend its initial contract at the airport by two years. Current agreements will allow the restaurant to operate at the San Jose Airport until 2026.
Though Chick-fil-A denies any homophobic policies, actions by the company suggest otherwise. The restaurant chain has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ causes over the years, and expressed opposition to marriage equality. The reputation of the company has caused airports in other states–notably Texas and New York–to block the opening of new Chick-fil-A locations over perceived homophobia.