Despite being a beloved and immensely successful eatery, Chick-fil-A once again finds itself in the midst of controversy.
It seems the restaurant is either highly regarded or hated, depending on which side of the aisle one resides on politically. The most recent firestorm surrounding the restaurant occurred when the franchise was denied a contract into two airports, those being the San Antonio International Airport or SAT and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF).
The U.S. Department of Transportation is now investigating whether the airports that denied Chick-fil-A violated federal law in so doing, since the contract was rumored to be denied for religious reasons.
“The Department has received complaints alleging discrimination by two airport operators against a private company due to the expression of the owners religious beliefs,” the DOT said in a statement. “FAA’s Office of Civil Rights has notified the San Antonia International Airport (SAT) and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) that it has opened investigations into these complaints.”
On March 21st, the San Antonio city council approved the Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concession Agreement for the Paradies Lagardere for the San Antonio International Airport with one condition: Chick-fil-A be excluded from said agreement. According to councilman Roberto Trevino, who first made the motion to excluded Chick-fil-A, it was because the restaurant expressed “anti-LGBTQ behavior”, which went against San Antonio’s motto of “equality and inclusion.”
Allegedly, the prohibition of Chick-fil-A came after a report revealed the restaurant’s charitable donations. The chain gave almost $2 million to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Salvation Army — all of which support traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
After news of Chick-fil-A being banned become public knowledge, there was massive backlash as a result. Representative Chip Roy of Texas, who happens to represent the part of San Antonio that houses the airport called the move, “rampant discriminatory action.” Days later, General Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General said his office will investigate the matter and determine whether or not the actions of the committee to ban Chick-fil-A violates Texas state law. Paxton also followed up by sending a letter to the Secretary of Transportation encouraging her to open a federal investigation into the matter, which she later did. Paxton said the following:
“When I announced my investigation of the city of San Antonio for its blatant discrimination against Chick-fil-A, I also brought this matter to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s attention. I had complete confidence Secretary Chao would recognize, as her office has today, that the city of San Antonio’s intolerant actions warrant investigation.”
According to Paxton, this discrimination goes against the very fabric of the nation’s heritage.
“Blatant discrimination based on the religious beliefs associated with the company and its owners violates the Constitution and is inconsistent with both Texas and federal law,” he said.
It’s worth noting that, despite the actions of these two airports, the Transportation Department states that no persons should be excluded from airport activities based on religious creed.
“FAA noes that Federal requirement 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,” the statement continued.
Based on the statement from the Transportation Department, the Chick-fil-A ban is wildly inappropriate. Chick-fil-A has as much right to operate a business/restaurant within the airports mentioned as any other organization or business. To deny them their right is inexcusable.
It’s fortunate that the federal government is actually taking action against this injustice.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter