Texas AG’s Office opens investigation into San Antonio’s decision to ban Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is set to open a new location in downtown Tyler.
Chick-fil-A is set to open a new location in downtown Tyler.
Updated: Mar. 29, 2019 at 1:55 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, TX (KLTV) - In the wake of San Antonio’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from a concession agreement for the city’s airport, the Texas Attorney General’s Office sent a letter to the mayor and city council members informing them that a discrimination investigation has been opened.

“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,” Texas Attorney General Paxton said in a press release. “The city’s discriminatory decision is not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law.”

The Texas Attorney General’s Office sent the letter to San Antonio officials earlier this week.

The Constitution’s protection of religious liberty is somehow even better than Chick-fil-A’s chicken,” Paxton wrote in his letter to San Antonio’s leadership. “Unfortunately, I have serious concerns that both are under assault at the San Antonio airport.

Paxton also sent a letter to Secretary Elaine Chao of the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting that her agency open an investigation into the City of San Antonio’s “potential violation of federal law and Transportation Department regulations when the city banned Chick-fil-A from operating a restaurant in the San Antonio International Airport based on the company’s religious beliefs.”

According to a City of San Antonio press release, District 1 City Councilman Roberto Trevino made a motion to approve the Food and Beverage Retail Prime Concession Agreement with Paradies Lagardere at the San Antonio airport on the condition that it would exclude the “Chick-fil-A concept” on March 21.

The amendment was approved by a vote of 6 to 4, the press release stated.

Trevino made a statement in regard to the City of San Antonio’s decision.

“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion,” Trevino said in the statement. “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. Everyone has a placed here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”

The press release from the Texas Attorney General’s Office stated that the First Amendment protects individual and closely held companies from “governmental restrictions based on their religious views or religious status.”

“Additionally, federal regulations governing grant money provided to the San Antonio airport prohibit religious discrimination,” the press release from the AG’s office stated.

To read the full texts of the letters, click this link.

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