Molly Prince, DCNF
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Thursday that he will be launching an investigation into San Antonio city councilmen after they banned Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport over “anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
“I have directed my office to open an investigation into whether the City’s action violates state law,” Paxton said in a letter to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the city council.
Paxton also penned a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao urging for a federal investigation to be opened, according to documents obtained by KEN5. The city of San Antonio may have violated federal law and Transportation Department regulations by denying a contract to Chick-fil-A on religious grounds after voting to remove the franchise from a new airport concession contract.
The city council passed a motion on March 21 to approve the Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concession Agreement with Paradies Lagardère for the airport with the condition that Chick-fil-A be excluded from the agreement.
The prohibition came after a report noted that in 2017, Chick-fil-A donated nearly $2 million to the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Paul Anderson Youth Home. The report asserted that the three charities were discriminatory against LGBTQ individuals.
City councilman Roberto Treviño, who made the motion against Chick-fil-A, claimed that the ban reaffirmed that San Antonio is a champion of “equality and inclusion.”
Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy, who represents the portion of San Antonio where the airport is located, also slammed the decision.
“Targeting individuals, organizations, or corporations for carrying out their deeply-held religious beliefs in accord with our laws and consistent with many Americans’ similarly held religious beliefs is hardly making San Antonio a ‘champion of equality and inclusion,’” Roy said. “I hope this matter can be resolved, as 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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