Officials in San Jose, California, have decided to allow Chick-fil-A to open a restaurant in their city’s airport.
This normally wouldn’t be news, but consider the fact that both San Antonio and Buffalo, New York, have blocked the fast-food chain from their airports due to the restaurant’s Christian roots and the fact it gives money to organizations that hold to a traditional Christian view of sexuality.
However, San Jose officials decided that they couldn’t let it go at just quietly allowing the chain to do business in their airport. No, sir. They were going to troll Chick-fil-A just to make sure everyone knows how Inclusive™ they are.
“The San Jose City Council voted 11-0 on Tuesday to hang rainbow flags in support of LGBTQ people and pink, blue and white flags for transgender rights at or near a Chick-fil-A due to open in May at San Jose International Airport,” NBC News reported.
“Rosemary Barnes, a spokeswoman for the airport, said it will decide where to place the flags.”
The idea was put forward by the first openly gay official in Santa Clara County, Ken Yeager.
“I made the suggestion to put the flags next to the restaurant, and council members liked that idea but also said that maybe put flags elsewhere, too, like outside,” Yeager said.
That still wasn’t enough for activists like Paul Escobar.
Escobar, who runs a small LGBT political action group, organized a protest outside San Jose City Hall on Tuesday because apparently, a big bad evil chicken sandwich shop he doesn’t agree with is going to be in an airport in his city.
“This is public space,” Escobar said. “We know that this is a strong and inclusive community. We need to make sure that businesses there respect these values.”
It should interest Mr. Escobar (but it probably won’t) Chick-fil-A has made it clear that the chain is inclusive — just maybe not in the way he defines the word.
“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 chain said in a statement after it was banned from the Buffalo and San Antonio airports.
“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.“
Chick-fil-A just has Christianity as part of its corporate DNA. It doesn’t just serve Christians. It doesn’t have hellfire-and-brimstone sermons in its restaurants.
The workers don’t ask if you’re living in sin with your boyfriend and/or girlfriend.
They serve you chicken sandwiches.
Banning Chick-fil-A from airports because the company donates to Christian organizations — some of which hold to a biblical interpretation of sexuality, which can include believing that sexual activity oughtn’t occur outside the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman — is the opposite of inclusion.
It’s excluding a company based on the fact that religion plays an intrinsic part in its value system, even though there’s zero proof it discriminates against anyone in terms of employment or service.
If banning is angry and exclusionary, however, putting flags around a restaurant is childish and petty.
This isn’t about support for the LGBT community, which was supposed to be the original purpose here. It’s about trolling a fast food chain.
Pretty much everyone here should feel insulted.
Christians will roll their eyes at the fact a bunch of city functionaries actually thought they really pulled a zinger on them by putting LGBT flags outside a Chick-fil-A.
LGBT individuals, meanwhile, ought to be aggrieved that a symbol of solidarity among gays and lesbians is instead being used as a giant joke on a chicken sandwich chain.
At least, one hopes, the San Jose City Council can unite both sides in exasperation.
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