Texans File Lawsuit Against City of San Antonio for Excluding Chick-fil-A from Local Airport by Raven Clabough for The New American
Texas residents have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Antonio for its decision to ban Chick-fil-A from opening a shop in the local airport, arguing that the ban was motivated by the company’s religious beliefs.
Plaintiffs Patrick Von Dohlen, Brian Greco, Kevin Jason Khattar, Michael Knuffke, and Daniel Petri filed suit against the city under SB 1978, dubbed the “Save Chick-fil-A bill.” Signed by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, SB 1978 outlaws government retaliation based on “membership in and support to religious organizations.”
State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, who sponsored the bill in the House, said all Texans were affected by a local government who oversteps its bounds. The law, he argued, seeks to ensure that the government cannot punish businesses or people for their religious beliefs.
“Hopefully this bill will be a reminder for many and a deterrent for others so that we don’t have another situation like we had in San Antonio,” Krause said.
The lawsuit states the city of San Antonio is in violation of SB 1978 by banning Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio airport and asks the court to issue an injunction to block the city and airport shop operator Paradies Lagardere from banning the restaurant chain in the future. The plaintiffs also seek to stop 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.”
The lawsuit also seeks the city to pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees.
According to the group Texas Values Action, by banning the restaurant chain from opening a shop at the airport, San Antonio officials are engaged in bullying.
“The continued religious ban on Chick-fil-A by the San Antonio City Council has left citizens with no choice but to take this case to court,” said Texas Values Action president Jonathan Saenz, according to The Texas Tribune. “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.”
This is certainly not the first time Chick-fil-A has been blocked from certain regions because of its traditional values. Rider University in New Jersey removed the restaurant from consideration for a new restaurant on campus because of “the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+P for Pedophile community.”