San Antonio’s city council effectively banned Chick-fil-A from opening up a restaurant in the city’s airport for the next 7 years last week, sparking a backlash with questions about religious liberty. As a result, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is getting involved.
Fox News reports:
Paxton sent a letter to San Antonio City Council members and Mayor Ron Nirenberg, saying that he believed the first amendment was “under assault” over the city’s decision last week to exclude Chick-fil-A from a concessions contract with San Antonio International Airport because of what one council member called its “legacy of anti-LGBT behavior.”
Paxton directed the AG’s office to open an investigation into whether the city’s action violated state law.
He also sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao asking for the department to investigate whether the motion also violated federal laws.
Here’s what Paxton said in a news release posted to the Texas AG website:
“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,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The city’s discriminatory decision is not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law.”
To view the letters sent to San Antonio’s mayor, city council, and to USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao, click here.
Paxton also tweeted out this image yesterday after retweeting news reports detailing his directive for an investigation:
The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A based on the religious beliefs associated with the company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance. It’s discriminatory, and not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law. pic.twitter.com/iOk7G9Eltv
— Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 28, 2019
The push-back against the council’s vote has been intense – and the vote has been embarrassing for other council members. One of them, Greg Brockhouse, sent a letter of apology to the restaurant’s corporate headquarters earlier this week.
Today I sent an apology letter to Chick-fil-A leadership regarding the City Council's decision to remove their business…
Brockhouse announced his mayoral candidacy last month.
The announcement from the attorney general’s office came on the same day a Texas-based law firm that specializes in religious rights cases called for a federal investigation into the actions of the San Antonio city council.
First Liberty Institute wrote Secretary Chao and copied U.S. Attorney General William Barr saying, among other things, the council “engaged in unconstitutional religious discrimination making them ineligible for federal grants.”
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–