On Thursday, five Texans who frequent the San Antonio airport and wish to eat Chick-fil-A there filed a lawsuit against the City of San Antonio under S.B. 1978, a new Texas law dubbed the “Save Chick-fil-A bill.” The new law forbids government actors from discriminating against religious groups or those associated with them, and removes government legal immunity from agencies that do so. The law’s passage followed the San Antonio airport’s ban on Chick-fil-A, citing “a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior” and calling the fast food chain “a symbol of hate.”
“The city’s continued exclusion of Chick-fil-A is based ‘wholly or partly’ on Chick-fil-A’s past and present contributions, donations, and support for certain religious organizations, including the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which is provides through its WinShape, its charitable foundation,” the lawsuit explains, citing the new law directly.
In the suit, the plaintiffs ask the court: to declare that San Antonio violated the law and continues to do so; to issue an injunction to prevent the city and the company Paradies Lagardère from excluding Chick-fil-A from the airport; to issue another injunction compelling the city to install a Chick-fil-A in the airport; to issue a third injunction preventing the city from “taking any adverse action against Chick-fil-A or any other person or entity, which is based wholly or partly on that person or entity’s support for religious organizations that oppose homosexual behavior;” and to order the city to pay attorney’s fees and other appropriate relief.
“If you thought we were bluffing, now you know we’re not,” Jonathan Saenz, Esq., president of the Texas Values Coalition, said in a statement on the lawsuit. “This is just one of many lawsuits that we expect to be filed against the San Antonio City Council for their illegal ban of Chick-fil-A. The continued religious ban on Chick-fil-A by the San Antonio City Council has by left citizens with no choice but to take this case to court. Any other vendor that tries to replace Chick-fil-A at the airport will be doing so under a major cloud of long and costly litigation with the city.”
The lawsuit presents the entire story of liberal outrage at Chick-fil-A. In 2010, the restaurant company gave over $8 million to the WinShape Foundation, a charitable organization run by the family of the late Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy. WinShape donated some of that money to Bible-believing Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council (FRC), Exodus International, Alliance Defense Fund (now Alliance Defending Freedom), the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and more. (Read more from “Lawsuit: City to Face the Music for Chick-Fil-A Airport Ban” HERE)