Texas AG to receive San Antonio city documents related to Chick-fil-A ban

By John Suayan

The City of San Antonio will turn over documents sought by the Texas Attorney General related to an investigation into the city's decision to bar Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport because of its religious beliefs.

San Antonio City Council voted last March to prevent Chick-fil-A, whose specialty is chicken sandwiches, from opening a franchise at the airport in response to Chick-fil-A’s supposedly anti-LGBT stance.

Following the ban, Attorney General Ken Paxton informed San Antonio city officials in writing that he would conduct an investigation, as well as requested U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to investigate whether the city broke federal law.

“The decision to discriminate against any vendor based on religious beliefs associated with the company and its owners flies in the face of the Constitution and Texas law,” Paxton said in a news release at the time the investigation was announced. “I look forward to reviewing the City of San Antonio’s records explaining why the City Council targeted this respected restaurant chain for exclusion from the City’s concessionaire contract for the international airport.”

A month ago, Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation that appeared to counter San Antonio’s exclusion of Hapeville, Ga.-based Chick-fil-A. Senate Bill 1978, which was nicknamed the "Save Chick-Fil-A" bill, prohibits government bodies from discriminating against anyone who aligns with a religious organization.

Per Paxton’s latest request of San Antonio, the city will provide documents pertaining to the City’s communications, meetings, and records related to the exclusion of Chick-fil-A.

“Excluding a company and its owner based on their religious beliefs demonstrates a total disregard for Texas law and the First Amendment protections in our Constitution. I look forward to reviewing the City of San Antonio’s records surrounding this discriminatory decision,” Paxton said in an Aug. 16 statement. “Our great state deeply values the First Amendment, and my office will defend those rights for all who live and operate in Texas.”