DENVER (AP) - The Denver City Council has stalled a lease for a Chick-fil-A restaurant at Denver International Airport, citing the company's reputation as an opponent of same-sex marriage.
The Denver Post reports that the Business Development Committee on Tuesday stalled the seven-year deal with a new franchisee of the popular chicken chain for two weeks.
In 2012, Chick-fil-A's president publicly reaffirmed his support of what he called the "biblical definition of the family unit" that did not 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 non-discrimination statement.
If the committee rejects the lease, an individual member could introduce the deal in the full council. At Tuesday's meeting, none of the 10 members in attendance defended Chick-fil-A.
“We really want to look into the policies and practices of these companies,and just make sure that they conform to ours in the city, the State of Colorado. We have a marriage decision nationally. This is really about policies and it's about practices,” said Robin Kniech, Denver City Council’s first openly gay member. “This is a starting conversation and we have actual conversations about contracts all the time. It might be about your hiring practices, disadvantaged business contractors, do you work with minority suppliers?”
“So this is not an unusual conversation for us. We're taking a pause and in two weeks, the committee will have more information and take action. This is a pretty common practice we go through so we understand who we're doing business with,” she added.
“We're really looking at everything, and making sure that with the complexities of this contract, that at every level, there are safeguards in place," said fellow city Council member and voting committee member Jolon Clark. "We want to see those non-discrimination polices from anyone who's involved in this from the top to the bottom.”
“For decades, gay and lesbian individuals and families across our community and our city have been fighting equal recognition of their relationships and for equal rights. And I've believed Denver has always been a leader in making sure that we're building an inclusive community where everyone is treated fairly. And I think what you see here with this decision is just the willingness to press pause and make sure that we're continuing to lead and make sure that we're building that inclusive community,” he added.