- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DENVER (AP) - Two weeks after raising questions about allowing a Chick-fil-A restaurant at Denver’s airport, city councilors are moving toward approving the deal.

A City Council committee unanimously backed the seven-year lease Tuesday after a brief discussion, The Denver Post reported (https://dpo.st/1JL2ztg ). After passing that hurdle, the deal isn’t expected to face much opposition when it goes before the full council in the coming weeks.

The committee had delayed action on the lease because of comments by the fast food chain’s CEO, Dan Cathy, against same-sex marriage on religious grounds and the company’s support for groups considered to be anti-gay. Some were also concerned about the restaurant being closed on Sunday, a busy travel day.

In 2012, Cathy reaffirmed his support of what he called the “biblical definition of the family unit” that doesn’t include same-sex marriage. He has since said he regrets inserting the company into political debates.

Chicago officials tried to block a new Chick-fil-A location for similar reasons but relented when the chain reiterated a nondiscrimination statement.

Denver councilwoman Robin Kneich said she no longer has concerns about the deal because Chick-fil-A’s main concession partner, Atlanta-based Concessions International LLC, has a strong anti-discrimination policy which will be backed up by state and local anti-discrimination laws.

Questions from Kneich and other councilors at an Aug. 18 meeting caught Denver International Airport officials off guard and triggered many angry emails as word spread.

Airport officials say travelers have long requested a Chick-fil-A outlet and it’s expected to generate more sales than most restaurants that are open every day.

Plans call for the restaurant to open by early next summer.


Information from: The Denver Post, https://www.denverpost.com

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