Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is opening an investigation into San Antonio city councilmembers for excluding Chick-fil-A from a concession contract at the city’s international airport over its “ legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
“I have directed my office to open an investigation into whether the City’s action violates state law,” Paxton wrote in a letter to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the city council.
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
The council voted 6-4 last week to exclude the fast food company from a new retail and restaurant agreement for the airport.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion," said Councilman Roberto Trevino. "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."
He continued: “Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”
Paxton also wrote a second letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking the department to open an investigation into the city over a potential violation of federal law and Transportation Department regulations when it banned the company over its religious beliefs.
“The City of San Antonio’s decision to exclude a respected vendor based on the religious beliefs associated with that company and its owners is the opposite of tolerance,” Paxton said. “The city’s discriminatory decision is not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law.”
The city council vote came after Think Progress published a report noting that in 2017 the company donated $1.8 million to organizations such as the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which the group claims are all anti-LGBTQ.