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The FAA Opens Religious Discrimination Investigation after Airports Ban Chick-fil-A

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating religious discrimination claims after Chick-Fil-A was rejected by two airports in Buffalo and San Antonio due to what many believe is because of the company's Christian foundation and guiding principles. 


The Department of Transportation announced the investigations on Friday. 

via the DOT

"The Department of Transportation has received complaints alleging discrimination by two airport operators against a private company due to the expression of the owner's religious beliefs..."

"FAA's Office of Civil Rights has notified the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) that it has opened investigations into these complaints. The FAA notes that Federal requirements 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."

As reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation, San Antonio city government excluded Chick-fIl-A from a Food, Beverage, and Retail Prime Concession agreement with a San Antonio airport this past March because city officials argued the company practiced discriminatory policies. "Councilman Roberto Treviño, who initially made the motion against Chick-fil-A, claimed the fast food restaurant expressed 'anti-LGBTQ behavior' and that the ban reaffirmed that San Antonio is a champion of “equality and inclusion,"  the Caller reports. 

Shortly after that, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton announced an investigation into ban. "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,” Paxton told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I had complete confidence Secretary Chao would recognize, as her office has today, that the City of San Antonio’s intolerant actions warrant investigation.”


Similar anti-Christian and anti-Chik-fil-A statements were made by New York Assemblyman Sean Ryan after it was announced Buffalo's airport was considering a  Chick-fil-A. 

“The views of Chick-fil-A do not represent our state or the Western New York community, and businesses that support discrimination have no place operating in taxpayer-funded public facilities,” Ryan wrote in an April Facebook post according to the Caller. “I urge you to reverse this decision and identify a different restaurant to operate at the airport.”

Now, the DOT is investigating what impact comments like those fo Ryan's and Trevino's had in barring the chicken sandwich and waffle fries business from their airports. The fast-food company told CNN that it is not involved in the investigation and does not discriminate. "We are a restaurant company...and we have no social or political stance," the company told the news network."We welcome and embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."

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