Plans by the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A to open a location at Denver International Airport have run into turbulence. At a meeting last week, members of the Denver City Council questioned whether the chain discriminates against gays and lesbians.
“Denver has been at the forefront of honoring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and their families with non-discrimination clauses and partner benefits for many of these decades,” read a statement made by several members of the council.
“These are longstanding values Denver has held. When Denver International Airport proposed a concession with a company that had a history of funding opposition to this recognition, it was important that we as a City Council take a pause to ensure that all the policies are in place with all of the entities involved to ensure there will be no discrimination, and that benefits will be provided equally to all employees and their spouses, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
The first to raise the issue of Chick fil-A’s politics at the meeting was Robin Kniech, the council's first openly gay member. Kniech said he was most worried about a local franchise generating "corporate profits used to fund and fuel discrimination."
The council voted to take two weeks “to look at the policies involved” before deciding on the issue. Several members had questions about Chick-fil-A’s religious values, which include closing stores on Sunday. Others brought up past remarks made by Chick-fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy supporting traditional marriage.
In a statement, Chick-fil-A corporate officials said that their company is "focused on providing everyone great food in an atmosphere of genuine hospitality. We hope to welcome all guests to any of our locations, including a proposed licensed location at the Denver International Airport."