After an exile lasting more than a year, Chick-fil-A can now return to the San Antonio International Airport.
In March of 2019, the city council voted to remove Chick-fil-A from the airport after public outcries rose against the chain for donating to Christian groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army, claiming the actions were discriminatory to the LGBT community.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton then asked the FAA to investigate, alleging that the city had disenfranchised the chain on religious grounds.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg cited economic reasons for the removal last year, and the city continues to deny accusations of religious discrimination.
“The city maintains that at no point did it discriminate against Chick-fil-A,” city officials said in a statement.
Jonathan Klein, an official with the FAA Office of Civil Rights, sent the letter to Paxton first announcing the “informal resolution” the FAA reached with the city.
“Within 45 days of this letter, CFA will be offered a lease opportunity for space in SAT Terminal A,” the letter reads. “The terms of the new offer will be reasonable and consistent with customary business practices.”
The airport ban sparked a statewide imbroglio around the restaurant with Governor Greg Abbott signing a bill inspired by the event into law which “ensures that the government cannot discriminate against a business based on the charities to which they donate money.”
Despite the new agreement, Chick-fil-A has said it will not return to the airport.
“We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service,” Chick-fil-A said in a statement. “While we are not pursuing a location in the San Antonio airport at this time, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve San Antonians in our 32 existing restaurants.”
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