Home Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-A Fans Take Legal Action Against San Antonio After Airport Ban

Chick-fil-A Fans Take Legal Action Against San Antonio After Airport Ban

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San Antonio is being sued by five Texans who believe the city’s decision to bar the popular fast food chain from its airport violates the law.

In March, the city council claimed Chick-fil-A as a company is opposed to LGBTQ rights, and therefore banned it from the airport.

That action gave rise to a bill signed in June by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott which bans governments in the state from punishing a business or person for donating religious to groups, Fox News reported.

Texas has also opened up a state-level investigation into the San Antonio decision and filed suit to obtain documents related to the move.

Now, San Antonio has been hit with another lawsuit, this time from five Texans.

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“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,” Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values Action, said Monday in announcing the suit, 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,” he said.

But Laura Mayes, the city of San Antonio’s chief communications officer, labeled the suit “an attempt by the plaintiffs to improperly use the court to advance their political agenda.”

“Among the many weaknesses in their case, they are trying to rely on a law that did not exist when Council voted on the airport concessions contract,” she said.

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“We will seek a quick resolution from the court.”

The lawsuit notes the political and religious basis of the underlying issues regarding Chick-fil-A.

“For years, liberal activists have been attacking Chick-fil-A because it gives money to Christian organizations derive their notions of morality from the Bible rather than modern-day cultural fads, they oppose homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage,” the lawsuit states.

The suit quotes San Antonio Councilman Roberto Trevino as saying he opposed a Chick-fil-A at the airport because it has “a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”

It further quotes Councilman Manny Pelaez as calling Chick-fil-A “a symbol of hate.”

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The plaintiffs are seeking “a declaration that the city of San Antonio violated and continues to violate” Texas law.

The lawsuit also wants the ban against Chick-fil-A overturned.

It calls for “a temporary and permanent injunction that prohibits 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.”

Patrick Von Dohlen, one of five plaintiffs in the lawsuit, called the city council’s action “bigoted and misguided,” according to the Rivard Report.

Co-plaintiff Michael Knuffke said the focus on Chick-fil-A was unfair.

“Chick-fil-A has given to Christian charities and other charities, too, but it has somehow received a bull’s-eye on its back,” he said.

Pelaez said the city would win because it was technically never dealing directly with Chick-fil-A, only a company named Paradies Lagardère that would in turn fill the concession space in the airport.

Those suing “have to prove in court that there was a Chick-fil-A vendor that was denied the opportunity to operate the space and technically that’s not true,” Pelaez said.

“The arguments about the First Amendment and freedom certainly are compelling, but facts matter and the fact is there was not a Chick-fil-A operator that we were dealing with.”

Pelaez added, “But everybody has a right to file a lawsuit no matter how frivolous, and they are exercising that right.”

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