Welcome to the flashback sequence no one asked for: it’s time to talk about Chick-fil-A again.

The fast food chain’s reputation as a supporter of traditional marriage has drawn another series of boycott threats, this time from the Denver city council. The council is currently debating whether or not to sign a contract with the restaurant for a spot at Denver International Airport.

From the Denver Post:

Councilman Paul Lopez called opposition to the chain at DIA “really, truly a moral issue on the city.”

His position comes despite ardent assurances from the concessionaires — who have operated other DIA restaurants — that strict nondiscrimination policies will include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Robin Kniech, the council’s first openly gay member, said she was most worried about a local franchise generating “corporate profits used to fund and fuel discrimination.” She was first to raise Chick-fil-A leaders’ politics during a Tuesday committee hearing.

The normally routine process of approving an airport concession deal has taken a rare political turn. The Business Development Committee on Tuesday stalled the seven-year deal with a new franchisee of the popular chain for two weeks.

Should the committee reject the lease, an individual member — if one is willing — could introduce the concession deal in the full council. Ten of the 13 members attended Tuesday’s meeting, and none rose to defend Chick-fil-A, although some didn’t weigh in.

“We can do better than this brand in Denver at our airport, in my estimation,” new member Jolon Clark said.

The city is already working with its attorneys to find legal justification for “doing better.”

Last time Chick-Fil-A made headlines, the media went into meltdown mode, pushing think pieces pitting corporate decisionmaking against the rights of LGBT individuals to live free from the pain of others’ opinions. It got to the point where we had to answer those think pieces with more think pieces defending free association specifically within the context of a chicken sandwich.

Society at large lost the ability to understand a world accommodating to opposing viewpoints.

Still, the criticism doesn’t appear to have affected the chain’s ability to do business; at least, not in the long run. Their recent tweaks to simple things like coffee brewing have made them competitive in the supersaturated morning beverage market.

Various councils have tried this sort of ban before—in Chicago, New York, and at Northeastern University—but those efforts failed to start the ripple effect of ideological boycotts that we see progressives advocating for.

In fact, there was a huge outpouring of support for Chick-fil-A. Check out Legal Insurrection readers’ Chick-fil-A photos (2012), like this one from Lee in Newport Beach, CA

Lee, Newport Beach, CA

Lee, Newport Beach, CA

That’s the good news. The bad news is that this has nothing to do with banning a single Chick-fil-A franchise at a single airport; they’re testing the First Amendment for weaknesses and waiting for a hole to open up.

Chick-fil-A’s side of the story has been largely allowed to fade into the background along with the various rallies, protests, and kiss-ins that defined the last great wave of opposition, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to keep running that narrative into the ground when things like this happen.

As I said, the progs on the Denver city council are testing the waters to see what will float. Let’s sink their narrative before it finds its stride.


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