Chick-fil-A’s Texas airport exclusion has escalated into a major row

Chick-fil-A’s Texas airport exclusion has escalated into a major row March 30, 2019

A COUPLE of days ago the Friendly Atheist reported that former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, above, went into melt-down over the fact that the San Antonio City Council voted last week to exclude Christian-operated Chick-fil-A from a list of proposed food outlets for San Antonio International Airport.

Huckabee said on the Todd Starnes Radio Show:

I wish that Chick-fil-A would sue the city of San Antonio It’s a restraint of trade. It’s really denying them the ability to do business.

We now learn that Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton has entered the fray, and is pushing for both state and federal investigations into the matter.

Paxton sent letters dated March 28 to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the city council notifying them that he has:

Directed my office to open an investigation into whether the City’s action violates state law.

He has also written to US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao requesting that her department investigate whether the decision:

Violates various federal statutes and regulations to which the City is subject as a recipient of Department of Transportation grant funds.

There is no evidence indicating that Chick-fil-A has ever maintained any policy or practice of discriminating against any group of people, and the City offered no such evidence as the basis of its action. Indeed, shortly after the City’s decision was announced, a member of the City Council who dissented from the City’s decision openly apologized to the Chairman of Chick-fil-A, noting that the restaurant ‘employs and serves everyone, without prejudice, discrimination or hate.’

Furthermore, Chick-Fil-A apparently agreed in the present instance to abide by all applicable nondiscrimination rules imposed by the contract with the City.

The “Jesus Chicken” chain as some call it, was one of several vendors the company Paradies Lagardère proposed adding to the airport’s Terminal A, but its inclusion was voted down 6-4 last week. Councilman Roberto Treviño accused the company of a “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behaviour” and claimed that its mere presence would harm travelers’ ability:

To feel welcome when they walk through our airport.

For years, liberals have advocated boycotting the Christian-owned chain due to CEO Dan Cathy’s stated opposition to same-sex marriage and the company’s past donations to hate groups such as Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. Most recently, activists have objected to recently released tax filings showing that the company donated more than $1.8 million in 2017 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Salvation Army, all of which have been attacked as anti-LGBT for taking traditional biblical stances on homosexuality.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz criticised the City Council’s decision as “ridiculous” and inconsistent with the Lone Star State’s values.

One council member, Manny Pelaez, who voted to exclude the outlet, is having second thoughts.

Before the vote, I originally was thinking of ways to get more San Antonio-based restaurants in the airport. We were looking for local restaurants because we have a lot as a city to offer here. The second reason I was thinking to replace Chick-fil-A was because they close on Sundays and I wanted a business that stayed open during that time. Number three, the news broke out about where some were upset about their charitable giving.

Then I made comments about Chick-fil-A and what I had been told about their practices, which were perceived as hostile toward the LGBTQ community. I said things that were not accurate. Turns out, Chick-fil-A actually does protect its employees from harassment and discrimination at the workplace. They got policies and enforce those policies. Their charitable giving is innocuous.

Pelaez added that he recently went so far as to meet with 40 religious leaders to apologise.

The Texas-based First Liberty Institute has also called for a religious discrimination investigation into the matter, and Republican Texas representative Chip Roy said it would be:

Unfortunate if the council’s decision negatively impacted our ability to effectively advocate for San Antonio in Congress due to such rampant discriminatory action against a well regarded business with such a significant presence in our communities in central Texas and across the nation.

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  • WallofSleep

    It’s nice to know the state of Texas has solved all its other problems such that they can now focus on nothing cases like this one.

  • Anri

    “Are you suggesting that our extensive, well-known and well-documented policy of donating large sums of money to organizations associated with hatred and repression of specific marginalized groups indicates some kind of ideological leaning?”

    “Yes. Yes, we are.”

    “…oh. Well, that’s totes not fair because reasons.”

  • Michael Neville

    There is no evidence indicating that Chick-fil-A has ever maintained any policy or practice of discriminating against any group of people, and the City offered no such evidence as the basis of its action.

    Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate in its employment practices because of the serious legal consequences of doing so. They have no choice but to hire people regardless of sexual orientation. But the company has made major donations to anti-LGBTQ organizations, which is why the city council voted not to give them a place in the airport.

  • WallofSleep

    Yep. They’ll employ them because they legally can’t do otherwise, while using the sweat of their labor to take away their employees civil rights.

  • queenofmeanie

    I sent a complaint to Paxton regarding my experience with Chick-Fil-A when I was in high school applying for a job at their chain when they was opening a restaurant at Stapleton Intl airport in Denver in the late 70s. During the interview, I was told that they were looking for decent christian whites to work for them. I’m black and I said where in the FUCK are you going to find any and walked away. To this very day, I have not stepped foot on their property and I refuse to eat any of their products.

  • queenofmeanie

    There was a religious discrimination lawsuit in 1994-1996 where a Muslim filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against Chik-Fil-A.

  • queenofmeanie

    Texas is a corrupt double standard racist, sexist, religious, and all the way around discriminatory state.

  • taylor_serenil

    I live in San Antonio, and yep, can confirm. I’m hoping this decision stands. (Chick-Fil-A’s chicken’s delicious, but this queer lady won’t buy their food because I refuse to support their politics.)

  • queenofmeanie
  • Richard Seibel

    It would seem like a reasonable requirement that any business in a 7 day a week airport would be open 7 days per week. Why that does not end the discussion without getting into the weeds we are getting into is beyond my comprehension.

  • Oh, WOW.

  • queenofmeanie

    When I boycott I really boycott.

  • Broga

    When they have the power they are intolerant; when they lack the power they plead for tolerance and acceptance.

  • Dom Saunders

    I didn’t know they were that racist on TOP of being anti-LGBT. Honestly, I was going to say I don’t mind their chain being in airports. They don’t bother me since I simply don’t go to them. But after reading this, they can burn.

  • Larry Dawson

    That chain discriminates against hungry people EVERY Sunday.

  • Vanity Unfair

    I know I’m out-of-date and everybody who knows me knows that. Please humour an old man and supply a translation. Honestly, I have tried.

  • Brian Curtis

    #1 defense of Chick Fil-A in all these discussions has been “But they don’t actually refuse to serve gay people, so what’s the big deal? Businesses have the right to their religious beliefs!”
    It’s a crazy world the religious reich has brought us.

  • Robert Conner

    Baptist preacher HuckyBooBoo chimes in right on cue. Wanna bet this lardass has his very own designated trough at Chick-fil-A?

  • Broga

    And they are anti euthanasia and abortion but enthusiastic killers of prisoners who may have been on Death Row for 20 or more years. Few of those executed are white and they ignore the fact that a man, after 20 years, is a very different person to the one they kill.

  • taylor_serenil

    No kidding. Like, both of my favorite Thai places are closed on Sunday, but those are single location deals without a whole bunch of people on the payroll of either. They do need a day of rest, plus I live in a big enough metroplex that if I absolutely had to have Thai I’m sure I could find somebody to serve me some at least edible pad thai on a Sunday. Chick-Fil-A is a giant chain and I can’t think of any other ones that big that do that.

    What if you get out of (Christian) church and this ISN’T a potluck week and you really really want some fried chicken as a lunch out with the family thing? (My favorite taqueria does a lot of business post-church, so….) You legally can’t refuse to hire folks for XYZ, so you can even tweak the schedule so people who either don’t go to church/similar at all or people whose main religious day of the week isn’t Sunday staff Sundays. But no, haters gotta hate, I guess.