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City Council Stands By Its Decision To Keep Chick-Fil-A Out Of Airport

Courtesy City of San Antonio

The San Antonio City Council re-affirmed its controversial decision to exclude Chick-Fil-A from a San Antonio International Airport concession contract Thursday.

The council voted to not bring up the issue again, meaning that the restaurant remains excluded.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg opened the meeting with the assurance that no business that follows the law will be turned away from the city, a reference to the decision to prevent the restaurant chain from building a location at the airport.

Councilman Greg Brockhouse proposed a new vote to reconsider the removal. He asked council members who would be excluded next.

Councilman Clayton Perry voiced support for the motion because "it is the number one issue" among his District 10 constituents, based on his conversations with them.

Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said there were more important issues to address, including housing and crime.

Credit Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
Beth Guinn disagreed with the council's decision.

Staff told council talks are underway with a new occupant.

Several Brockhouse supporters were in the audience, including John Hagee, the Cornerstone Church pastor.

Ed Newton, pastor of the 20,000-member Community Bible Church, said he was disappointed in council vote. He hoped the council would have thought that "any individual, any organization, any company would not be vilified based on their particular belief."

Beth Guinn described herself as a member of the LGBT community. She said of the vote, "I see this as a violation of Title VII. I feel Chick-fil-A was discriminated against based on their faith-based belief."

Republican Texas Sen. Donna Campbell mingled with pastors, conservative business leaders, and others outside city council chambers after the vote. She said, "It's not hard to get a group together when it's obvious a wrong decision was made. You have to ask yourself whose beliefs are next. Your beliefs are next. Don't think it stops here."

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.