Home » Politics » Chick-fil-A Wins Big In Lawsuit Fighting for Freedom of Religion

Chick-fil-A Wins Big In Lawsuit Fighting for Freedom of Religion

A lawsuit by a group of conservative activists who allege that San Antonio violated a new Texas law because of the City Council’s refusal last year to allow a Chick-fil-A restaurant at San Antonio International Airport can move forward, a judge ruled Thursday.

The city had sought to have the lawsuit thrown out of court, arguing that the law wasn’t in effect when council members voted to strike Chick-fil-A from an airport concessions contract last March.

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The “Save Chick-fil-A” law, which bars government agencies from punishing people or companies for affiliating with or donating to religious organizations, took effect Sept. 1.

But state District Judge David Canales ruled Thursday against the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, city spokeswoman Laura Mayes said. No trial date has been set, she said.

“We are disappointed with the outcome of today’s hearing and will evaluate our legal options going forward,” First Assistant City Attorney Liz Provencio said. “We maintain that the city did nothing wrong and certainly did not violate any law, and we will continue to vigorously defend the city’s interests.”

Representatives for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached, but they have argued that they are suing the city over the March vote because the “ban” on Chick-fil-A remains in effect and actions taken after Sept. 1 regarding a replacement for Chick-fil-A are subject to the new law.

Council members in March approved the contract with Atlanta-based concessionaire Paradies Lagardère to bring a slate of new vendors to the airport — with the stipulation that they replace Chick-fil-A with another eatery.

District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño cited Chick-fil-A’s history of donating to groups opposed to LGBT rights when calling for the Georgia-based chicken chain to be removed from the contract.

But Mayor Ron Nirenberg cited financial considerations and passenger convenience as his reasons for rejecting Chick-fil-A. The chain’s policy of closing on Sundays would give hungry travelers one less option and reduce airport revenue, he said.

Nonetheless, the decision riled conservatives including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who said the city had discriminated against Chick-fil-A on religious grounds. Chick-fil-A’s founder, the late A. Truett Cathy, was a devout Southern Baptist. In 2012, its chief operating officer spoke out against same-sex marriage.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Federal Aviation Administration launched investigations into whether San Antonio violated any laws by excluding Chick-fil-A from the airport.

The controversy also drove state lawmakers to pass the “Save Chick-fil-A” law last year.

Five San Antonio-area residents, including former council candidate Patrick Von Dohlen, sued the city and Paradies Lagardère in state District Court days after the state law took effect. Chick-fil-A was singled out because “it donates money to Christian organizations that oppose homosexual behavior,” they said in their lawsuit.

The group is suing the city and Paradies Lagardère to force them to open a Chick-fil-A at the airport as the concessionaire’s contract initially said it would. They also vowed to sue any company that tries to take Chick-fil-A’s former slot on the contract.

At Thursday’s hearing, the city argued that its decision regarding the contract wasn’t connected to religion.

“We feel strongly that the city never took any action to adversely affect anyone based on their religion or their affiliation with a religious group,” said attorney Neel Lane, representing San Antonio.

He called the ruling “procedural” and said the city is ready to make its case.

Meanwhile, work is continuing on new restaurants at the airport under the Paradies contract, but no final decision has been made on a replacement for Chick-fil-A.

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  1. Typical bashing by Catholic haters! I’ll have the 12 piece chicken nuggets!

    • OChick-fil-a is the worst I broke my Ankel on there property and they took the proof a away so they would not have to pay .God has ways of dealing with people who really are not in him.may they go straight to where the devil lives instant karma for them!!!!!!

      • Really, Chick-fil-a broke your ankle, how did they do that? Or did you brake your ankle on Chick-fil-a property and want compensation for your carelessness.

      • You should have the Dems helping. My friend did it. They won but he received a bandaid for his concussion. The compensation was barely enough for the lawyers to share.

      • Maybe the Devil tripped you on Chick-Fil-A property and God took the proof away… or.. or… maybe you tripped because you were clumsy and were trying to blame Chick-Fil-A in which case the Devil was using you to hurt Chick-Fil-A. Did your hospitalization pay for your broken ankle? So many questions.

  2. Those who discriminated against Chick FilA should be SUED into POVERTY for lost business and HARMFUL rhetoric against the restaurant. Team Trump and his allies 2020.

  3. Patricia Reinhart

    I have asked someone whom I love and care about and who has an alternative lifestyle why couldn’t he accept a civil union and not marriage. His reply was that he would feel like a second class citizen. He said that the religious holy matrimony was not what he wanted. I see both sides. I was very upset about the treatment of Chick-Fil-A as the owner just stated his belief of marriage. Aren’t we ALL entitled to our beliefs? Nothing he said was hateful so stop being hateful to him and his company. We should love and respect one another.

    • Alphabet people ARE second class citizens! They are a burden on ALL of us!

    • all Americans are entitled to their believes and they have the right to speak their mind… well if they are a democrapo pervert parasite KKK enema bag voter or politician… If you are a Christian, GOP, heterosexual, constitution following, conservative, and Trump supporter than you are considered as honky trash by the leftists clowns..

  4. I think that Chick-fil-a ought to have the right to be the airport(s) but you won’t be seeing me there because of my religious beliefs.

    • I think if you want to do business you should be able to abide by the needs of the clientele that you are claiming you want to serve. If you want to be closed and are supposed to be an option for travelers to eat while they await their flights you should be available to do business on the days that the airport does. While in between flights the airport has only so many options for travelers to choose from. So if you close your doors for business on a specific day every week I can see the problem you are posing to the airport and it’s customers.

    • do your religious beliefs bar you from flying ??

  5. the city officials are not only violating the constitutional rights of chic filet but all potential customers that would be customers of them, the people should come together and look at who voted for and against this and vote those unconvicted constitutional rights violaters out of office

  6. It is no ones business who someone gives their money to after they earn it! Busy body special interest people can give their money to whomever they want to and who cares! Trying to control other people for your own interest is flat wrong I don’t care who you are! If a business at the airport wants to close on Sunday for their employees let them do it. There are other venders serving there so no one is going to starve! City councils are to serve every one not just special interest groups that complain the loudest!

  7. These things that don’t even know what the hell sex they are cocksuckers but hole liquors they’re all sick people and should be in assignor silence they have destroyed a lot of America and they are all Democrats

  8. Why is Mike Huckabee mad at Chik Fil-A?

  9. No government agency should ever be able to interfere with any legitimate business. Government should only be involved in issues that adversely affect ALL citizens, not just some.

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