Fly with Chick-fil-A

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Airport dispute

A Texas law was passed last September 2019 that prohibits government agencies from taking retaliatory or adverse action against individuals or companies that are associated with religious groups.  Chick-fil-A is not only known for its high-quality fast food and long drive-through lines but is also known for closing down on Sundays.  The late founder of Chick-fil-A, A. Truett Cathy, was a Southern Baptist, and the company maintains a culture of religious foundation.  For this reason, a team of conservative activists accused the city of San Antonio of discriminating against Chick-fil-A on the grounds of religion and filed a lawsuit.

It is no secret that Chick-fil-A is opposed to same-sex marriage and is not a company that endorses the LBGT community.  In 2012, its chief operating officer caused controversy by publicly voicing his opinion on the matter of same-sex marriage. Considering the company’s history, it became apparent that the reasoning for excluding Chick-fil-A from an airport was related to the company’s values.  The City Council contends that it was not acting in a discriminatory manner, but rather, considered Chick-fil-A’s removal from the list of potential restaurants to include in the airport as logical.  Due to the fact that all Chick-fil-A establishments are closed on Sundays, travelers who are flying that day of the week will be left with one less option for food.

Despite the support from conservative activists, including US Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the lawsuit did not result favorably for Chick-fil-A.  The Fourth Court of Appeals determined that the plaintiffs did not have strong grounds to sue the city, and thus, a lower court decision was reversed.  The matter was truly a dispute over a contract and the bid to operate a restaurant at the airport.  The city was within its right to award contracts to other vendors.  Just because activists for Chick-fil-A were not happy with the decision made does not necessarily present a situation of religious discrimination.