Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday sued to obtain access to the details of the vote by the San Antonio City Council to exclude fast-food giant Chick-fil-A from its airport concessions contract.
According to Courthouse News, Paxton says the information and comments about the vote will shed light “on the religious bigotry that animated” the decision.
Chick-fil-A has been in the crosshairs of LGBT activists since its owner advocated for traditional marriage. The company’s critics were further infuriated when they discovered its contributions go to conservative charities.
But federal law, according to the FAA, prohibits “airport operators from excluding persons on the basis of religious creed from participating in airport activities that receive or benefit from FAA grant funding.”
Publicly funded universities also have banned Chick-fil-A. At Cal Poly, however, administrators kept a franchise on campus despite a vote of the Academic Senate. The administrators reasoned that to remove the fast food chain from campus “would be its own form of censorship and intolerance.”
In San Antonio, city council members voted 6-4 for the ban claiming they were protecting the city’s “reputation for inclusion and equality.”
City officials in San Antonio are trying to keep those government records secret.
“The city of San Antonio claims that it can hide documents because it anticipates being sued,” Paxton said in a statement on Monday, CNN reported. “But we’ve simply opened an investigation using the Public Information Act. If a mere investigation is enough to excuse the City of San Antonio from its obligation to be transparent with the people of Texas, then the Public Information Act is a dead letter. The city’s extreme position only highlights its fear about allowing any sunshine on the religious bigotry that animated its decision.”
In 2012, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy drew the ire of LGBT activists when he said that God has defined marriage.
“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.
Keisha Russell, associate counsel with First Liberty, which has been raising concerns about the airport’s discrimination, told Fox News earlier, “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.
“First Liberty also 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.”
Chick-fil-A said in a statement it is in the business of serving food and hospitality to all.