Texas AG Says Chick-fil-A’s Constitutional Rights Violated by Banning from San Antonio Airport

March 29, 2019, 5:01 PM UTC

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton thinks San Antonio City Council’s decision to ban Chick-fil-A from its airport is discriminatory.

A week after the city council voted 6-4 to block the chain from getting a new concession contract at the airport, Paxton has announced he is investigating the city for potential First Amendment violations.

While the council members cited Chick-fil-A’s opposition to same-sex marriage and record on LGBTQ issues in its decision, Paxton believes it could be the council that is showing “the opposite of tolerance,” accusing them of making a “discriminatory decision” based on the owner of the chain’s religious beliefs.

In a letter to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and members of the city council, Paxton wrote, “The Constitution’s protection of religious liberty is somehow even better than Chick-fil-A’s chicken. Unfortunately, I have serious concerns that both are under assault at the San Antonio airport.”

Additionally, Paxton said he’s asked Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to investigate whether the city violated federal law and regulations, enclosing the letter he sent to her to that effect.

The council’s decision had already drawn criticism from other Republican Texas leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz. Last week, Cruz took to Twitter, claiming “the citizens of beautiful San Antonio deserve more delicious sandwiches, and fewer rabid attacks against companies because of their charitable giving to the community. Come on.”

On Thursday, Abbott chimed in, tweeting: “The ban has the stench of religious discrimination against Chick-fil-A.”