With FAA Investigating, San Antonio Officials Start Backpedaling on Their Chick-fil-A Ban

May 29, 2019
by Bob Adelmann

Following Friday's announcement by the FAA, members of the San Antonio city council began "clarifying" their previous statements supporting their ban of Chick-fil-A from their airport. Officials from the FAA's Office of Civil Rights "have notified the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the San Antonio International Airport that it has opened an investigation into … complaints [alleging religious discrimination]."

They added:

The FAA notes that federal requirements prohibit airport operators from excluding persons on the basis of religious creed from participating in airport activities that receive or benefit from FAA grant funding.

At risk are millions of federal dollars flowing into those airports, so politicians on the San Antonio city council began "clarifying" their positions for banning Chick-fil-A. Said Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who voted against Chick-fil-A's presence at the airport: "My decision was based on the best interests of passengers, especially the 1.5 million who pass through our airport on Sundays [by company policy, Chick-fil-A's restaurants are closed on Sundays]. They should have a full range of options … religion had nothing to do with decisions on airport retail vendors."

City councilman Robert Trevino also decided to "clarify" his position. Following his vote to ban Chick-fil-A back in March, Trevino issued this statement:

With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion. San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.... Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.

On Friday he said:

This motion is not about someone's religious beliefs, but rather the history of discrimination against our LGBTQ community. This is not an attack on religion. This is certainly not an attack on Christianity. This is a stand for equality.

When David French, a senior writer for National Review, learned of the city council's decision to ban Chick-fil-A from being a vendor at the San Antonio airport, he called it "Orwellian":

This is Orwellian nonsense. This action isn't based on any alleged mistreatment of gay customers. Instead it's based on the notion that a person won't feel "welcome" in an airport because they disagree with the charitable donations of a foundation connected to one of the airport's vendors. That's absurd.

It's also unconstitutional. Wrote French: "The government [of San Antonio] may not condition the ability to operate a business on the government's distaste for the religious or political donations of its owners. That's pure viewpoint discrimination, and if Chick-fil-A chooses to sue, it will not only win, but the city council's intolerance will likely cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars."

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Now, thanks to the FAA, Chick-fil-A won't have to sue but instead be content to sit back, tend to its business of serving its customers its famous and increasingly popular chicken sandwiches, and watch the proceedings unfold.

The FAA is responding to at least two requests to look into the blatant religious discrimination declared by the San Antonio city council back in March: one from Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton; the other from Keisha Russell, associate counsel with First Liberty Institute.

Six days after the San Antonio city council declared Chick-fil-A unwelcome at their airport, Paxton launched his own investigation into the matter. At the same time, he encouraged the Department of Transportation (DOT), which oversees the FAA, – to perform its own investigation.

First Liberty, a non-profit legal organization committed to providing assistance to individuals and companies like Chick-fil-A in their battles over religious and First Amendment issues, also offered its assistance and invited the DOT to jump in as well. Following Friday's announcement, Russell said: "We are pleased that the FAA responded to our request by opening an investigation into San Antonio for its blatant, illegal religious discrimination against Chick-fil-A." She added:

First Liberty … launched our own investigation into the city's actions and we vow to get to the bottom of San Antonio's decision. American business owners should not have to suffer because they want to operate their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Few things are more un-American than government hostility against religion.

This is a small battle in a big war. It's highly likely that, with the FAA now doing the heavy lifting, the San Antonio ban will be repealed and the Chick-fil-A franchisee will be allowed to move ahead with his plans to become a vendor at its airport. Victory will be sweet not only for Chick-fil-A and its local franchisee but also for every other American business owner running his business according to his own religious principles.

The big war is the one being waged by LGBTQ groups against the republic and the principles upon which it stands. As this writer noted in a previous article here, "the agenda of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community is clear: every vestige of Biblical Christianity must be obliterated from the culture." That war will continue to rage long after the issue is settled in San Antonio and Buffalo.



The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor: The Firestorm Ignited by Chick-fil-A's CEO in 2012 Still Rages Today

The Epoch Times: Department of Transportation Launches Investigation Into Chick-fil-A Bans

Express News: FAA brings new scrutiny to San Antonio's polarizing vote to bar Chick-fil-A from airport

Time: FAA Launches Investigation Into San Antonio's Decision to Bar Chick-fil-A From Airport

World Net Daily: Department of Transportation Launches Investigation Into Chick-fil-A Bans

Background on First Liberty Institute

Background on the FAA

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