Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Chick-fil-A bill into law Thursday, prohibiting local governments from retaliating against an individual or business for their membership in, or support for, faith-based organizations.
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 legislation was introduced after the San Antonio City Council voted to block the restaurant from participating as a vendor at the San Antonio International Airport because of its Christian beliefs.
“Discrimination is not tolerated in Texas,” said the Republican governor, as he signed the bill amid Chick-fil-A cups. “No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners gave to a church or the Salvation Army or to any other religious organization. No business should lose a government contract because of their religious beliefs.”
Abbott said the law is a “victory for religious freedom in Texas.”
In March, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his investigation into whether the San Antonio City Council violated the First Amendment when it banned Chick-fil-A from the airport’s concessions.
The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A based on the religious beliefs associated with the company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance. It’s discriminatory, and not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law. pic.twitter.com/iOk7G9Eltv
— Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 28, 2019
Paxton made his announcement after Roberto Treviño, San Antonio District 1 city councilman, moved to ban the privately held, family-owned business from its list of airport vendors. Six council members approved the motion to ban the restaurant, while four voted against it.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion,” Treviño said, according to NBC News 4. “San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating religious discrimination claims after restaurant chain Chick-fil-A was banned from both the San Antonio and Buffalo airports.
Chick-fil-A states on its website that the company continues to uphold the biblical principles that guided the founding of its business by S. Truett Cathy. The company has given financial support to Christian youth organizations and charitable groups, such as the Salvation Army.
While some have questioned the motives behind our donations, we want to take a moment to reiterate the mission and focus of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, which has always been and always will be to donate to programs that support a diverse array of youth and educational programs nationwide. The 140,000 people who serve customers on a daily basis represent and embrace all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to the restaurant’s website, in 2018, Chick-fil-A was presented with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award for being among the top 100 best places to work. Additionally, Chick-fil-A was included in Glassdoor’s Top 100 CEOs.
Also, in 2018, Chick-fil-A was recognized for customer experience in the Temkin Experience Ratings survey and was named “Best Franchise Brand” by Airport Revenue News.
Chick-fil-A was included as well in 2018 in Forbes’ list of best employers and as a National Society of High School Scholars top employer.