AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The so-called Chick-Fil-A bill is now law in Texas.
The law bans government entities from taking “adverse action” over an individual or organization’s affiliation to a religious organization.
Governor Abbott tweeted Thursday night, “Today I signed the
@ChickfilA law in Texas. And, had a great lunch. No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners donate to a church, the Salvation Army, or other religious organization. Texas protects religious liberty.”
Today I signed the @ChickfilA law in Texas.
And, had a great lunch.
No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners donate to a church, the Salvation Army, or other religious organization.
Texas protects religious liberty. pic.twitter.com/1QwSTuoWu0
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 19, 2019
The Governor signed the bill flanked by people holding Chick-Fil-A cups as well as a Chick-Fil-A box and cow on his desk.
The Texas House passed Senate Bill 1978 on May 20 in a 79-62 vote.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and city council members letting them know he is opening an investigation surrounding the city’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from a concession contract that city staff recommended.
According to Paxton, “The Council was in the process of approving a concessionaire agreement with Paradies Legadere (Paradies) to run concession facilities in the San Antonio airport. The Paradies proposal included a license that would bring Chick-fil-A to the airport.”
“The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude a respected vendor based on the religious beliefs associated with that company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The city’s discriminatory decision is not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law.”
By separate letter, he also requested Secretary Elaine Chao of the United States Department of Transportation open an investigation into “the city of San Antonio’s potential violation of federal law and Transportation Department regulations when the city banned Chick-fil-A from operating a restaurant in the San Antonio International Airport based on the company’s religious beliefs.”
Paxton cited comments from a city council meeting in the letter to Chao where he alleged discrimination. He said that when the council moved to approve the contract that would have allowed the restaurant at the airport, a council member instead moved to exclude and replace Chick-fil-A. Paxton said, “His [the council member’s] rationale was that Chick-fil-A has a ‘legacy of anti-LGBT behavior.’” Paxton said the Council member who seconded the motion referred to Chick-fil-A as a “symbol of hate.”
Democrats at the time said the bill invites discrimination.