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San Jose Airport will hang rainbow flags at new Chick-fil-A to make the location 'the gayest in the country' amid controversy over chain's donations to anti-LGBT groups

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 4/12/2019 Chauncey Alcorn For Dailymail.com

a person flying a kite: City council members in San Jose, California voted 11-0 on Tuesday to hang rainbow flags at the Chick-fil-A opening in the city's airport in May © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited City council members in San Jose, California voted 11-0 on Tuesday to hang rainbow flags at the Chick-fil-A opening in the city's airport in May A California city is taking a symbolic pro-LGBTQ stand against Chick-fil-A a year after voting to allow the restaurant chain to open a franchise in its local airport.

San Jose city council members voted unanimously on Tuesday to hang rainbow flags along with pink and blue pro-transgender rights flags outside the Chick-fil-A that's scheduled to open inside the San Jose International Airport in May.

Chick-fil-A became a subject of ant-gay controversy again in March after Think Progress published a report claiming the company donated $1.8 million to anti-LGBTQ groups in 2017.

The groups reportedly included Christian groups that ban employees from engaging in homosexual acts. 

Since then there have been campaigns around the country, including San Antonio and Buffalo, New York, to try to prevent new Chick-fil-A locations from opening in their communities.

a screen shot of Ken Yeager: Local gay rights trailblazer Ken Yeager, San Jose's first openly gay elected official retired last year, was one of several protesters demonstrating against Chick-fil-A at the city's airport Tuesday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Local gay rights trailblazer Ken Yeager, San Jose's first openly gay elected official retired last year, was one of several protesters demonstrating against Chick-fil-A at the city's airport Tuesday

Local gay rights campaigner and former County Supervisor Ken Yeager, San Jose's first openly gay elected official who retired from office in December, was one of several protesters demonstrating against Chick-fil-A at the city's airport on Tuesday.

'My heart just sank when I saw the construction wall (at the airport),' Yeager told the San Jose Spotlight.

'This is going to be people's very first impression of San Jose. And what are they going to see? They're going to see a store known for its anti-gay attitudes and funding anti-gay groups. We need to make sure that people realize when they come into San Jose that this is a very welcoming community.' 

San Jose already has two Chick-fil-As operating in the city. 

The decision to raise rainbow flags outside the new location comes a year after the council approved a motion granting leases and contracts to a group of restaurants that includes Chick-fil-A along with Shake Shack, Great American Bagel, Trader Vic's, and Brew Pub, to open in the airport, according to KPIX.

Chick-fil-A became a subject of anti-gay controversy again in March Think Progress published a report exposing the company for donating funds to Christian groups that ban employees from engaging in homosexual acts © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Chick-fil-A became a subject of anti-gay controversy again in March Think Progress published a report exposing the company for donating funds to Christian groups that ban employees from engaging in homosexual acts

A spokeswoman for the airport said its administrators will decide where to place the flags, according to NBC News.

San Jose Councilman Raul Peralez said he wants the new Chick-fil-A to hire LGBT employees and become the 'gayest Chick-fil-A in the country.' 

In a statement last week to NBC, Chick-fil-A said: “recent coverage about Chick-fil-A continues to drive an inaccurate narrative about our 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."

a sign on a pole: Chick-fil-A was one of a group of restaurants the council approved airport contracts for in 2018 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Chick-fil-A was one of a group of restaurants the council approved airport contracts for in 2018 Religious rights supporters argue the cities attempting to ban Chick-fil-A are discriminating against Christian groups and are violating the law. 

'The city council cannot operate in a way that brazenly violates the Constitution and federal law, but if it chooses to, then the federal government should pull its grant,' Keisha Russell, associate counsel to First Liberty Institute, wrote in a Fox News op-ed.

The contract for San Jose's new Chick-fil-A's isn't set to expire until 2026. 

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