Vantage Airport Group has announced that Chick-fil-A will no longer be a part of the concessions deal at the new Kansas City airport terminal. The Canadian concessions company decided to remove the popular chicken restaurant chain from its list of vendors after receiving pushback from local LGBTQ+ groups.
In a city council committee meeting, the company explained its decision and said that Chick-fil-A does not promote an inclusive environment.
Vantage revealed its original proposal including the popular fast-food chain in late September, shortly after a private selection committee named the group as the lead concessions provider for the new terminal.
Many community leaders and organizations initially applauded the design of the $1.5 billion construction project, which included features aimed at creating an inclusive and welcoming space. Floor-to-ceiling gender neutral stalls, visual paging boards for deaf passengers, and private breastfeeding rooms were just some of the design choices for the new airport.
The addition of a Chick-fil-A location to this progressive project caught the eye of local LGBTQ+ advocacy groups.
“If this proposal was to pass in its current form, then it would be a step in the wrong direction for Kansas City,” the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission wrote in a statement. “The Kansas City Council has shown a commitment to fostering a community, and we hope you will stand on the right side of history.”
The fast-food company has a history of donating money to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations. Most recently, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy gave money to organizations that seek to block the legislation of the Equality Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on gender or sexual orientation.
UMKC is also in a similar situation. Located in the Student Union, Chick-fil-A serves hungry students six days of the week. The university prides itself on being a diverse, welcoming environment for all students, and there are a large number of active LGBTQ organizations and services on campus. For people like Alexandra Schray of the UMKC LGBTQIA+ Health District Alliance, having the restaurant on campus is antagonizing.
“While I only speak for myself in saying this, not our greater organization, I dislike the presence of Chick-fil-A on campus,” Schray, who serves as vice president of the organization, said. “If you’re an ally to the LGBTQIA community, boycotting the Chick-fil-A in the Student Union and the company as a whole should be the bare minimum.”