Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has opened an investigation into the San Antonio City Council’s decision to effectively ban Chick-fil-A from its airport, NBC News is reporting.
As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, the San Antonio City Council was in the process of approving a new contract with a management group to bring in food and concessions to the city’s airport. However, District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño introduced language intended to prevent the group from putting Chick-fil-A in one of the spots. The council agreed, effectively banning the restaurant from the airport. The management group, for its part, will decide at a later date what to put in the spot that would have been leased to Chick-fil-A.
Treviño cited Chick-fil-A’s history of donating money, through its charitable foundation, to anti-LGBTQ organizations. Further, after stating in 2012 that they would no longer donate to such groups, recent reports revealed that the restaurant had, in fact, donated millions to groups with anti-LGBTQ sentiments as recently as 2017.
Treviño said the exclusion of Chick-fil-A was an extension of the city’s open and welcoming culture.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion. San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
Texas Attorney General will investigate San Antonio’s ban on Chick-fil-A at their airport. The ban has the stench of religious discrimination against Chick-fil-A. @KenPaxtonTX #txlege https://t.co/W8AKypXozB
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 28, 2019
Paxton doesn’t see things that way. He believes the San Antonio City Council may have illegally discriminated against the company on the basis of religion, considering that Chick-fil-A is owned by evangelical Christians. In a letter to San Antonio officials, he called the decision “the opposite of tolerance” and a “discriminatory decision.”
“The Constitution’s protection of religious liberty is somehow even better than Chick-fil-A’s chicken. Unfortunately, I have serious concerns that both are under assault at the San Antonio airport.”
In a related move, Paxton asked U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to look at the situation, believing that the city council’s decision violated federal rules against discrimination based on religion by agencies that receive federal grants.
This is not the first time Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has faced fervent opposition in opening a new location. As Slate reported earlier in March, the mayors of Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco had all at one time or another expressed opposition to Chick-fil-A coming to their cities. As of this writing, there are three Chick-fil-A locations in Chicago; none in Boston (although there are two in the suburbs); and none in San Francisco (though there are multiple locations in the suburbs).