Chick-fil-A fans are fighting back against city and university governments seeking to ban the business from airports and college campuses.
“Five Texas fans of Chick-fil-A have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Antonio for its decision to ban the chicken-centric chain from opening up shop in the local airport,” reports Fox News. “On Sept. 5, plaintiffs Patrick Von Dohlen, Brian Greco, Kevin Jason Khattar, Michael Knuffke and Daniel Petri filed suit against the city under S.B. 1978, otherwise known as the ‘Save Chick-fil-A Bill.'”
Earlier this year, the San Antonio city council voted to ban Chick-fil-A from opening up shop in the city’s international airport because the company previously espoused traditional views on marriage.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion,” Roberto C. Treviño, San Antonio’s District 1 city councilman, said at the time. “San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we don’t have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
The “Save Chick-fil-A Bill” was signed into law by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this past June and bars government institutions from harming businesses merely for their religious beliefs or for donating to religious organizations. More on the lawsuit from Fox News:
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs pushed for the court to declare that the city of San Antonio “violated and continues to violate” the law by banning Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio airport and issue an injunction to block the city and airport shop operator Paradies Lagardère from banning the chain at the air hub in the future. Furthermore, the plaintiffs also hope to issue another injunction to have a Chick-fil-A open at the airport and issue an order 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” and receive attorney’s fees and other relief.
In a statement on Monday, Jonathan Saenz, president of the conservative group Texas Values Action, said the bullying against Chick-fil-A by San Antonio has given people no choice but to take legal action.
“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 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.”
Laura Mayes, chief communications officer for the city of San Antonio, told The Texas Tribune, however, that the lawsuit was merely a “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,” Mayes said. “We will seek a quick resolution from the Court.”
The organized targeting of the chicken sandwich empire began in 2012 when company founder Dan Cathy expressed support for traditional one-man/one-woman marriage, prompting boycotts across the country from LGBTQ activists.
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'” Cathy said at the time. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”