San Jose to Hang Rainbow Pride Flags Around Airport Chick-fil-A

After protests from San Jose’s LGBTQ community and their allies, city officials voted unanimously this week to adorn the Chick-fil-A inside the city’s airport with rainbow and transgender pride flags. The move is a symbolic action to support of the city’s LGBTQ community, who protested the fast-casual restaurant over recent donations to anti-LGBT causes ahead of its opening next month.

While there is nothing stopping the Chick-fil-A from opening, the San Jose City Council voted to deny a contract extension to restaurants not open seven days a week. That would include Chick-fil-A, which is closed on Sundays for religious reasons. As a result, the restaurant will only be allowed in the airport until 2026.

“This is public space,” said Paul Escobar, president of BAYMEC (Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee), a non-partisan LGBTQ political action group, said in a news release earlier this week. “We know that this is a strong and inclusive community. We need to make sure that businesses there respect these values.”

The inclusion of rainbow and transgender pride flags outside the Chick-fil-A will make it the “gayest Chick-fil-A in the country,” Councilman Raul Peralez said.

It would also let travelers know the city supports LGBT people, supporters added. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo commended the idea for balancing free speech rights and support for queer and trans people.

“While I fundamentally disagree with the Chick-fil-A owner’s anti-LGBTQ views, we reached a creative agreement that reflects San Jose’s values, but abides by constitutional prohibitions regarding discriminating against a business for their religious or political views,” he told San Jose Inside.

The city voted in March 2018 to approve a contract with airport food service company HMS Host, which then publicly announced it would put a Chick-fil-A inside the airport. At the time, the announcement slipped under the radar of airport and city officials.

“I have to profess a certain amount of apology, I think, to the community because I knew there was something about Chick-fil-A in the past about their support for groups with whom I don’t share the same values,” Liccardo said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “We knew it was there—I knew it was there—I simply didn’t think enough.”

Chick-fil-A made headlines for its opposition to marriage equality back in 2012, which spurred nationwide condemnation and boycotts. And while the company’s leadership has attempted to distance itself from their past anti-LGBTQ remarks, newly released tax filings show Chick-fil-A is still donating to organizations that discriminate against LGBT people. These include the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Salvation Army, according to progressive media outlet ThinkProgress.

San Jose’s icy reception of the fast-casual chain follows even more aggressive moves from other cities in recent weeks. Both Buffalo, New York and San Antonio, Texas have banned Chick-fil-A from airports altogether.


  1. The complaint centers around Chick-fil-A giving money to a Christian athletic group that advocates no premarital sex – straight or gay. Given the Supreme Court ruling, will be interesting to see if the religious freedom act allows corporations to exercise it too. Should an Orthodox Jew be required to remain open on Saturday?

    Likewise, should any business that gives to Catholic Charities be shamed because the Catholic Church fails to have female priests?

  2. No parent has ever said: “I hope my child grows up to be gay”.

    No Catholic parent has ever said: “I hope my child grows up to be gay”.
    No Moslem parent has ever said: “I hope my child grows up to be gay”.

    No Hispanic parent has ever said: “I hope my child grows up to be gay”.
    No Black parent has ever said: “I hope my child grows up to be gay.”
    No Asian parent has ever said: “I hope my child grows up to be gay.”

    Parents of EVERY religious tradition and ethnic origin must recognize that they are fully justified in their human and parental instincts to reject the political bullying of “San Jose’s LGBTQ community and their allies” and the cowardly and feckless “city officials” and “San Jose CIty Council”.

    The grown-ups on the City Council and the leadership of San Jose’s city government need to recognize — NOW — that allowing themselves to be surrogate bullies for a faction that has been and is viewed as “disordered” or worse by the major cultural and religious traditions of the world is an URGENT problem and MUST BE DEFUSED IMMEDIATELY.

    Forget about the gay banners. Roll them up and put them in the storage locker with the Confederate Flags.

    The progressive political establishment has rejected “conversion therapy” for gays. Similarly, the diverse people of San Jose REJECT the political class’s crude and ham-fisted attempts at “political conversion therapy” for people who are not gay.

  3. There are a number of Islamic mosques in the area, because, of course, we’re a very tolerant nation. I’m assuming flags will be posted there as well…

  4. It’s too bad that airport and city officials didn’t catch at the time the announcement that HMS Host would drop a discriminatory business into SJC. Maybe it would have been easier to nip that bigot in the bud back then. But hanging banners works for me, now that we’ll be stuck with the haters.

    I’ve never been to that store before, I don’t plan on it either. I mean really, a retail fast food joint not open on Sundays? Then later, I heard they discriminate against relatives of mine. No need to support that.

    • Bad news. SCCRezzy:

      Your conversion therapy isn’t working as well as I expected.

      We’ll have to triple the dosage of drugs, boost up the voltage, and put the flags closer to your nose.

      If flags work for making you like Sam Liccardo, we can make them work to get you to like chicken sandwiches.

  5. Such a childish move, looks like I will stop flying thru San Jose because of their bullying- you are now just as bad as you make CFA out to be…

  6. This just seems adversarial, pitting people against each other. The average person doesn’t look at chik-fil-a and think discrimination. They just think about great chicken sandwiches.
    This is not what a city should do. It’s clear they are afraid of the extremist Twitter mob.
    I’m sure that Chik-fil-a would appreciate more business from gay people, maybe the flags will draw more people in.

    • I like to think I’m pretty average. And that’s exactly what comes to mind when I think of chick fillet: discrimination based on religiosity. I’ve known about that for years. And I don’t know anything about their chicken sandwiches because I’ve never given them by business. Too much blatant discrimination, kinda like the hobby lobby religious wingers.

      • So the dozens of people in line last Saturday must all be right wing extremists, right?
        The founders have their own private political beliefs, which you read as discriminatory, but other people read as pro-family. They give money to an organization that promotes youth athletics and suggests abstinence. So evil, right?

        Their policy:
        “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”

        Clearly they believe in inclusivity. They just think differently than you, which you don’t tolerate.

        Anyway I don’t think it changes the taste of their chicken. I’m sure they appreciate the free publicity though.

        • Read it carefully, Juana. It says, “in our restaurants”. Of course they want all different types of people to come on in and be fed their chickens. But if you’re not a customer, well, that’s a different story.

          BTW, what is “pro family”? I have same sex couples who have kids. They seem like families, too. Unless you’re talking about other kinds of families.

          • Perhaps you can start a chicken restaurant of your own and donate to help same-sex parents. Fantastic. I would probably eat there.
            But, if you did so in a locality where the gov’t itself insulted you for your personal beliefs and charities, don’t you think that’s a bit unfair? And beneath us?
            Some people can help heterosexual parents and some homosexual.
            But there’s no need for government, who is failing us in so many ways, to provoke hostility to you just because you give to A but not B.

          • SCCRezzy:

            > BTW, what is “pro family”? I have same sex couples who have kids. They seem like families, too.

            What percent of “same sex couples” have kids?
            What percent of “hetero sex couples” have kids?

            What percent of kids are raised by “same sex parents”?
            What percent of kids are raised by “hetero sex parents”?

            It’s just a distortion of reality to assert that same sex couples having kids is “commonplace” or “the norm” for procreation and the nurturing of children in human society.

            It is ONLY a politically driven “display behavior” to construct and justify a political narrative.

            What is GENERALLY BEST for children is to be raised in homes by their natural heterosexual parents.

            Other accommodations for raising children are GENERALLY NOT AS GOOD for children.

            “Same sex couples who have kids” can SIMULATE being families, but when the simulated parents get tired of promoting their political narrative or when they get called on to provide the sexual guidance or modeling that their children require, the children suffer.

      • 1984 minus 1: “yeah! let’s use government to control the opinions of people we disagree with”

      • > I like to think I’m pretty average.


        I think you’re selling yourself short. You’re WAY, WAY above average.

        You’re a progressive, right?

        Everyone knows that progressives are just smarter.

        Go to any Democrat gathering. Who is the smartest person in the room? It’s ALWAYS a progressive.

        Have you ever seen a smart Republican at a Democrat gathering? I rest my case.

      • Wells-Fargo, Apple, IBM, Google, and many other companies contribute money to the SJ LGBT and similar centers. Does that make them anti-heterosexual?

        Chick-Filet -A corporation donated money to the Salvation Army, a faith-based drug & alcohol youth treatment program, and a Christian youth athletics program. None of the recipients discriminate based on sexual orientation. The two youth programs advocate against pre-marital sex. I don’t know the Salvation Army’s position, but their drug and alcohol treatment program is substantially more effective than many. Unlike most, they are transparent about their programs success rate.

        Many faith based organizations (Christian and non-Christian) have similar views about premarital sex or infidelity.

  7. I noticed SJ city government is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Must be some kind of religious thing. To show how tolerant the city is we should hang Confederate, Soviet, Nazi, Chinese, and North Korean flags around city hall and the airport!

  8. I didn’t realize the LGBTQ are so intolerant, and need to force their will onto others.

    If they hate the company that much, don’t eat there and hit them in the pocket.

    • For that matter, why is our Local Government so intolerant?
      Why are the choosing or supporting anyone over someone else?
      If the City can’t display a nativity scene, why can they display a sexual preference flag?
      Why do they show preference to Illegal aliens over Legal aliens?
      Why do they show preference to Illegal aliens over citizens?

      Sam, I think you have some explaining to do.

  9. I don’t even know why this is news. Who is this helping? I may not agree with it but it’s Chick Fil-A’s (annoying name) constitutional right to donate to any organization they want and take whatever political or religious stances they choose. Why can’t we just let them be them and everyone else be everyone else? Why are we always trying to force others to our way of thinking? If everyone in the world thought and believed exactly the same things, what a bland and boring little globe we’d live on. We should be grateful to live in a country where we get choices. Period.

    Some of my gay friends demonstrated in front of Chick Fil-A stores back in 2012 by showing public affection and picketing. Waste of time. They aren’t going to change their views. they don’t have to. Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but this won’t put them out of business,it’s actually sensationalizing it and causing the conservatives to support them all the more.. Does everyone forget there were enough votes to get Trump as the president? Guess who’s supporting Chick File-A? All those people. Just live and let live. the end.

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