The Denver City Council delayed the routine approval of a contract for Chick-fil-A to operate one of its restaurants at the city’s airport after a “gay” council member charged corporate profits would be used “to fund and fuel discrimination.”
The attack on one of the most successful and most popular food franchises in the nation is just the latest since 2012, when CEO Dan Cathy expressed his view that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
At one point, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel threatened to refuse to allow the company to open any restaurants in Chicago. He later dispatched an aide to say he really wouldn’t do that.
Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver at the time said such a move would be unconstitutional anyway. But he said the reaction to Cathy’s support of the historic definition of marriage proved homosexual activists are militantly intolerant and want to intimidate and silence critics rather than engage in debate.
The Denver Post reported that the routine contract with Chick-fil-A was pending before the council when Councilman Paul Lopez called it “really, truly a moral issue on the city.”
The company repeatedly has assured the government it follows nondiscrimination laws and regulations.
But the Post said Robin Kniech, the council’s first openly “gay” member, said she was most worried about a local franchise generating “corporate profits used to fund and fuel discrimination.”
Councilman Jolon Clark said, “We can do better than this brand in Denver at our airport, in my estimation.”
City attorneys are expected, the Post reported, to brief the committee at the next meeting, Sept. 1, on the legal implications of citing a religious belief as justification for rejecting a routine contract.
A previous Chick-fil-A franchise operated at the airport for a time about 10 years ago. The plan this time was for a partnership between Concessions International of Atlanta and Delarosa Restaurant Concepts of Denver to run it.
The Post said Mike De La Rosa, Delarosa’s president, defended the operation.
“Any and all hiring, promotion – any and all of those decisions are made by us,” De La Rosa told the committee, the Post reported. “We have a long history of diversity, all those kind of things, between both companies. These would not be issues.”
The report said other council members also raised questions “related to Chick-fil-A’s religion-influenced operation, which includes keeping all franchises closed on Sundays.”
Kniech, Lopez and other members were worried about the airport’s reputation, the paper said.
An airport official, Neil Maxfield, vice president of concessions, said a survey of users “identified Chick-fil-A as being the second-most sought-after quick service brand.”
Chipotle was first, but the chain didn’t want to operate at the airport.
Airport officials estimate Chick-fil-A would pay nearly $620,000 a year in concession fees. They confirm Chick-fil-A restaurants “typically generate more in six days a week … than most fast-food concessions that are open all seven,” the Post said.
‘No place for your company’
In 2012, Emanuel’s initial declaration that “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values” was joined by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee.
In a letter to Cathy at the time, Menino wrote, “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”
Menino later said he was expressing his own opinion and couldn’t stop Chick-fil-A from coming to Boston.
Staver said at the time that threats to ban Chick-fil-A from cities are irresponsible. Blocking a business from opening due to the personal beliefs of its leader would be discriminatory and, therefore, illegal, he said.
“It’s a wake-up call to all of us who have biblical values and share these moral principles that natural marriage is a union of one man, one woman,” Staver said. “[W]e’re facing a very intolerant movement that wants to silence biblical views and views on natural marriage and morality.
“Here we have the president of Chick-fil-A, a privately owned, family run business, who expresses in an interview – based upon the Bible – that natural marriage is the union of one man and one woman. As a result of that, a firestorm breaks out and you have government officials, such as the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, and the mayor of Boston, Mayor Tom Menino, and you also have the alderman in Chicago, all of whom are saying that Chick-fil-A cannot do business in their cities – that they’re not going to allow them to have a business permit, zoning permit. They’re going to block them from having a Chick-fil-A restaurant.
“That’s absolutely outrageous, and it should be a wake-up call to every American and everyone who believes in liberty and freedom.”
The comments by Cathy and the resulting threats all happened before this summer’s Supreme Court Obergefell decision in which five justices, including two who publicly advocated for “same-sex marriage” while the case was being decided, redefined marriage.
The controversy in recent years over Chick-fil-A has been focused solely on the religious perspective of Cathy. While Chick-fil-A workers were providing a Christmas for a co-worker who had been homeless, high schools and colleges were trying to have the company removed from their campuses.
Michelle Obama has joined in the attacks, and the hate campaign reached a pinnacle when a homosexual activist bought bags of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and went to the headquarters of the evangelical Family Research Council in Washington with the intention of killing as many as he could and smearing the sandwiches on them.
He failed because a security guard defended, although wounded, disarmed the attacker.A video showed Floyd Lee Corkins II entering the FRC offices and confronting Leo Johnson. A video showed Floyd Lee Corkins II entering the FRC offices and confronting Leo Johnson.
Corkins later was sentenced to prison for domestic terrorism. It was during an interview with FBI officers later when Corkins fingered the Southern Poverty Law Center for his inspiration.