A California city that last year approved the opening of a Chick-fil-A at its local airport now wants to send a message of support to LGBTQ people as the opening date for the fast-food restaurant nears.
The San Jose City Council voted 11-0 on Tuesday to hang rainbow flags in support of LGBTQ people and pink, blue and white flags for transgender rights at or near a Chick-fil-A due to open in May at San Jose International Airport.
Rosemary Barnes, a spokeswoman for the airport, said it will decide where to place the flags.
The council’s vote comes as two other cities around the country have blocked Chick-fil-A from opening at their airports over concerns that the restaurant chain has a record of supporting anti-gay organizations.
Ken Yeager, the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County, told NBC News on Thursday that he submitted the flag idea to the city council at the Tuesday night meeting.
“I made the suggestion to put the flags next to the restaurant and council members liked that idea but also said that maybe put flags elsewhere, too, like outside,” Yeager told NBC News on Thursday.
San Jose Vice Mayor Charles Jones told NBC News the plan is to have a flag or flags near the restaurant and outside of the airport.
The city council last year decided to allow a number of restaurants including Chick-fil-A to open in the airport food court, which some council members now say was an oversight.
Paul Escobar, president of a nonpartisan LGBTQ political action group in the Bay Area, organized a small protest outside of San Jose City Hall on Tuesday before meeting with council members about his concerns that having a Chick-fil-A at the airport would send the wrong message.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Janelle Griffith