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Texas AG Launches Investigation After San Antonio City Council Intentionally Excludes Chick-fil-A From Airport Contract

Texas AG Launches Investigation After San Antonio City Council Intentionally Excludes Chick-fil-A From Airport Contract

“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.”

A few weeks ago, a viral article by Think Progress accused Chick-fil-A’s foundation of actively supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations. The article was cited and reposted by news networks and individual blogs alike, and for the gazillionth time, calls to boycott the world’s best chicken sandwich bounced around progressive spheres of the web.

The Chick-fil-A Foundation (according to Think Progress) donated money to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Salvation Army.

TP (heh) whined:

The donations — $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and $150,000 to the Salvation Army — actually represent a slight increase from the previous year. The foundation’s funding comes almost entirely from the corporate treasury and shares leadership with the company.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a religious organization that seeks to spread an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes and requires a strict “sexual purity” policy for its employees that bars any “homosexual acts.” Paul Anderson Youth Home, a “Christian residential home for trouble youth,” teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is “rage against Jesus Christ and His values.”

The Salvation Army has a long record of opposing legal protections for LGBTQ Americans and at the time of the donations had a written policy of merely complying with local “relevant employment laws.” The organization’s website has since changed to indicate a national policy of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Another tired and petty attack on Christian values, really.

In any case, following the TP post, members of San Antonio’s city council flooded media with the silliest kind of virtue signaling, insisting that Chick-fil-A not be allowed the opportunity to build a restaurant in the city’s airport because they hate the gays. It’s worth noting that there is not one reported instance in which Chick-fil-A has lived up to their vile reputation of bigotry and sexual orientation discrimination.

From NBC:

The San Antonio City Council voted recently to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant at San Antonio International Airport, citing what it called the company’s “legacy of anti-LGBT behavior.”

The council voted 6-4 Thursday to approve a concession agreement for the airport that includes chains such as Smoke Shack BBQ and Boss Wood Fired Bagels and Coffee, provided it excluded a Chick-fil-A concept.

The vote came a day after Think Progress reported that newly released tax documents show the fast-food chain donated $1.8 million in 2017 to groups that discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

San Antonio Councilman Roberto Treviño said the council’s action affirms the city’s efforts 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,” Treviño said in a statement, adding that everyone should feel welcome when they walk through the city’s airport.

A spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A told NBC News on Monday that it wished it had gotten the opportunity to “clarify misperceptions” about the fast-food chain prior to the vote.

Textbook bigotry.

And so Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a nice little letter to San Antonio’s Mayor, informing him an investigation into the contract ban had begun [Full letter and letter to Secretary Chao embedded at bottom of post]:

Dear Mayor Nirenberg and City Councilmembers:

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. Please see the enclosed letter from my office to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao highlighting my concerns that the City’s recent action to remove Chick-fil-A from the City’s new airport concessionaire contract may violate federal law and applicable federal regulations. You should also note that I have directed my office to open an investigation into whether the City’s action violates state law. I trust the City will fully cooperate with my investigation into this matter, and will abide by relevant federal and state laws in the future.

Very truly yours,
Ken Paxton
Attorney General of Texas

On Facebook, Paxton was a bit more direct:

BREAKING: I’m launching an investigation after San Antonio City Councilmembers made a decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from a concession contract at the San Antonio Airport.

The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude a respected vendor based on the religious beliefs associated with that company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance. The city’s discriminatory decision is not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law.

New York recently banned the Lord’s chicken from their Buffalo Niagara International Airport:

Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A keeps being awesome and raking in the dough, making more per restaurant than McDonald’s, Subway, and Starbucks combined. And they’re closed on Sunday.

AG Paxton’s full letters here:

Texas OAG Letters to SA City Council and Chao by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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Liberals…I do not believe the word tolerant means what you think it means!

    n.n in reply to mailman. | April 3, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    They are, in principle, in practice, and logically divergent, which is perceived as tolerance. Some (typically generational limits) find religion/moral philosophy and settle on a closed set of enumerated principles that reconcile dignity, value, and worth, and natural imperatives.

    Separation of Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, Church and State.

The chain does not discriminate against the perverts. The owners donate to traditional Chrisitan charities.

Colonel Travis | April 3, 2019 at 6:56 pm

I’ve eaten at Chick-Fil-A a lot. Never heard a cashier say: “Before I allow you to order, are you gay?”

    Tom Servo in reply to Colonel Travis. | April 3, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Because this is a governmental body making this decision, I think this does rise to the level of a 1st Amendment violation; they are discriminating against the chain on the basis of the owner’s religions beliefs, and nothing else.

    Imagine the outcry if a city council somewhere ruled that a certain restaurant was banned from operating in the city, just because it was owned by Moslems.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to Colonel Travis. | April 4, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    I have not heard of them declining to hire a young person because they are a sexual pervert or deviant either. A pervert probably would not satisfy the character test to become an operator, however.

    The queers have been suing employers in various circuits claiming that Title 7 of the CRA protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Some circuits have agreed with them and tortured the text of the CRA, while others, like a recent decision in the Eleventh Circuit, have rejected the claims and rightfully said it is the job of Congress to draft legislation. Chik-Fil-A HQ is in suburban Atlanta and within the Eleventh, so the HQ and a lot of substantial stores do not have to hire queers under a judicial fiat. In other states, it would be illegal to reject them for sexual orientation.

“We want to include everybody…but not you!”

    mailman in reply to navyvet. | April 4, 2019 at 3:00 am

    Nor you…or you, you religious bigot! And don’t even think about it black conservative gay guy..especially NOT you!

They probably could have excluded them because they don’t provide services on Sunday. But they want to make it about religion. They picked that fight and I think they will loose.

How tricky does the concession group need to be in order to put several ‘blank for expansion’ spaces with full plumbing and wiring into their plan, so that Chick can be slipped into the building ex post facto?

Or set up a dummy organization for space filling that uses all the Chick-fil-a standard counters and measurements and outlets. Call it Quicky-Chicky or something, using Sysco products for food (because you can make *any* restaurant with Sysco).

Then when/if permission is given, it takes only a week or two in order to swap in the Good Stuff.

Damn, looks like I’m going to have to try it.

Maybe start off slow. Are the Waffle Potato Fries any good?

We need to know the funding sources of tp (toilet paper or think progress, your call and you can’t get a wrong answer). Matter of fact we should demand it. No more secrecy for either side.
I’ve been voting my stock shares against management’s recommendation to vote against making the corporation publish their donations. I want to know how the board is spending my money.
I’ve also been trying to make sure the liberals on the boards don’t get my vote. I’m sure it isn’t making a difference to anyone but me though.

The DFW airport didn’t have any problems adding a Chik-Fil-A to C terminal over two years ago, even if they are closed on Sunday.

As long as airports use any taxpayer dollars, their conduct is First Amendment material.

The letter to Secretary Chao will be a waste of time. Her faux husband is as queer as a three dollar bill.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to gourdhead. | April 4, 2019 at 11:47 am

    How does one equate to the other? I’m “queer”, yet hit Chick Fil A at least twice a month.

Actually, I can see how that Sunday thing could be a problem in an airport.

Of course that’s not the city council’s excuse for this discriminatory behavior. They’re grousing about their weird version of ideas about “equality & inclusion” rather than entirely practical ideas about “good business”.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to tom_swift. | April 4, 2019 at 3:11 pm


    I don’t recall mall or airport and other commercial leases on public grounds containing clauses micro-managing the lessees’ hours of operation or requiring the lessee to be open on a Sunday or other specified hours. Those leases are generally not revenue participation leases and are triple net (rent + CAM+T+I).

    As long as the airporch authority gets paid its bargained rent I don’t know they would care when a lessee shuts down to relieve its employees and let contractors come in and do maintenance, cleaning, etc.

    Closure on Sunday is useful for CFA operators and allows them to get technicians and tradesmen in to work on and replace things.

The dumbest thing that a city council can do is to take a stand that the majority of the (former) visitors to their city oppose, alienate them and lose their business. So long Riverwalk. I’ll find somewhere else to visit.