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San Jose LGBTQ Community Protests Chick-fil-A In Mineta International Airport

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- San Jose's LGBTQ community is protesting the construction of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant inside Mineta San Jose International Airport. Chick-fil-A financially supports groups that oppose LGBTQ rights.

The restaurant was approved more than a year ago as part of a package deal with several other restaurants in a contract with the airport's food and beverage concessionaire.

But to Ken Yeager, San Jose's first openly gay councilmember and supervisor, the decision to allow it at the publicly owned airport is a head scratcher.

"This is going to be people's very first impression of San Jose and what are they going to see? They're going to see a store known for its anti-gay attitudes and for funding anti-gay groups. I just thought that was so unfortunate, given that we've made so much progress in San Jose on LGBTQ rights," said Yeager.

Chick-fil-A Mineta San Jose (CBS)
The 'Chick-fil-A Coming Soon" sign at Mineta San Jose Airport (CBS)

San Antonio International and Buffalo/Niagra airports have already banned Chick-fil-A over its LGBTQ stance.

San Jose councilmembers admitted that they somehow overlooked the issue when they approved the restaurant in March of 2018 in a deal that also included Shake Shack, Great American Bagel, Trader Vic's and a brew pub. Some customers seeing the "Chick-fil-A coming soon!" sign are excited.

"Nice, it will be a nice addition here," said Morgan McKeown. San Jose already has two Chick-fil-A restaurants. One customer at the Monterey Road location said she wasn't aware of its stance on LGBTQ issues and may not be back.

"Chick-fil-A is a really good company, but as far as being against gays, it doesn't work like that in San Jose," said Elizabeth Gasca.

Because Mineta San Jose is a publicly owned place and the airport has a non-discrimination policy, Yeager wants to put up a rainbow flag near the Chick-fil-A entrance.

"Whatever we do, we need to make people realize when they come into San Jose, that this is a very welcoming community," Yeager said. The San Jose City Council approved Yeager's idea.

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