The San Antonio City Council recently voted to approve a slate of new restaurants in their Texas airport only after Chick-fil-A was removed from the list of options. That’s because the Christian-owned chain has a history of giving to anti-LGBTQ organizations. Even now, it gives to Christian groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army which don’t focus on bigotry but still preach that kind of bigotry for employees.
Conservative Christians are now using that vote as pretext to complain about how much they’re being persecuted. Failed Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said he hoped Chick-fil-A “would sue the city of San Antonio.”
That was obviously a dumb thing to say because the restaurant doesn’t have some constitutional right to exist in any airport it wants.
Which is why, naturally, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is making that very case.
The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A based on the religious beliefs associated with the company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance. It’s discriminatory, and not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law. pic.twitter.com/iOk7G9Eltv
— Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 28, 2019
In a letter sent to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the rest of the city council, Paxton says their decision “may violate federal law and applicable federal regulations.”
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. Please see the enclosed letter from my office to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao highlighting my concerns that the City’s recent action to remove Chick-fil-A from the City’s new airport concessionaire contract may violate federal law and applicable federal regulations. You should also note that I have directed my office to open an investigation into whether the City’s action violates state law. I trust the City will fully cooperate with my investigation into this matter, and will abide by relevant federal and state laws in the future.
Paxton is literally using his taxpayer-funded staff to investigate why people can’t eat a specific kind of chicken sandwich at one airport, even though there are dozens of Chick-fil-A locations throughout the city. It’s just another evangelical Republican official wasting everyone’s time in order to advance the myth of Christian Persecution.
Paxton also insisted that Chick-fil-A didn’t discriminate in hiring… but no one ever made that accusation. The council didn’t say no to the restaurant because it was Christian. They said no because it has a history (a current one, no less) of giving money to groups that actively promote anti-LGBTQ policies.
Being the attorney general in Texas has to be the easiest job in the world considering Paxton found time to defend a chicken sandwich.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)