Chick-fil-A restaurant
The “Save Chick-fil-A” bill has already passed a vote in the state house, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.

Still licking their wounds (and maybe their fingers) from the last chicken battle, Texas lawmakers took an important step toward protecting a well-known discriminator.

Texas Senate Bill 1978, referred to as the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, would prevent cities from taking action against individuals or companies based on their support for religious organizations.

So what does the bill have to do with Chick-fil-A?

Chicken is Back on the Menu, Boys!

This new legislation is reportedly a response to the San Antonio City Council’s controversial decision to ban Chick-fil-A from setting up shop at their airport’s food court earlier this year. Supporters of the ban argued that the restaurant’s connections to socially conservative organizations, as well as its owner’s stated opposition to same-sex marriage, was grounds for preventing them from opening a new location within city limits. Councilman Roberto Treviño had celebrated that vote, insisting his city had no room “for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton insisted he’d investigate whether the City Council decision violated the First Amendment. “The Constitution’s protection of religious liberty is somehow even better than Chick-fil-A’s chicken. Unfortunately, I have serious concerns that both are under assault at the San Antonio airport.” 

But before any legal challenge could be made, Texas legislators decided they would solve the problem themselves by fast-tracking a new law to prevent San Antonio – and any other Texas city – from standing in the restaurant’s way.

Them’s Fighting Words

The bill has already passed a vote in the state house, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk. Those in favor argue that it’s an important protection for religious freedom, and will prevent businesses from being discriminated against based on their beliefs.

“Should any city council be able to refuse me as a vendor in their city simply because I make donations to my church, which holds a biblical view of marriage?” Republican state Rep. Matt Schaefer asked.

But opponents aren’t planning to give in so easily. Democratic State Representative Julie Johnson promised a lengthy legal challenge ahead should the bill go into law. “The underlying message remains the same — and that message poisons this state. It sends the message that Texas is not open and welcoming to all,” she said.  

More Than Just Playing Politics

While this may come across as low-level political gamesmanship, the question of whether or not companies like Chick-fil-A deserve to be judged on – and feel repercussions for – the social stances they take is a serious legal issue that we’re clearly not close to resolving.

Should a city council (or any government body) be able to decide whether or not a business is allowed to operate within its jurisdiction based on the company’s stated religious beliefs?

On the one hand, part of the role of government is to support its citizens and make decisions that reflect their views. But how far should that power extend? And how does freedom of religion factor into the equation?  

As this case makes its way into the court system – as it seems likely to do – it’ll be interesting to see how the law interprets these important questions.

47 comments

  1. Marilyn A says:

    We are really steering our world in the wrong way. Instead of legislating everything we should live and let love 💕 be more accepting, more patient laugh and love more with less law’s.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      ….And get drunk, pig-out, and make merriment, dancing skyclad in a forest while singing praises to our gods and goddesses. Blessed be !

  2. Rev. Rene says:

    Liberals 0 – Conservatives 3. It seems the republican conservative rump has never left the fifties, those who have are sadly pining for their return. Boohoo, why can things not be like the good old days, when a man and a woman were a married couple, teenage pregnancy was a disgrace (and a reason to disown and kick out for life your only child), and the church, while buggering your altar boys at least had the decency to hide it! The good old days at least had no super pac’s to hijack elections, and luckily people were not informed enough to know their electable candidates were really not elected by the people but by the rich backroom boys! By the way, does not the first amendment give also freedom of expression? Such as: we are not going to stand for these bigots!

    1. Shane says:

      You do have the right ,but your rights do not supersede others rights. We have freedom of religion. To block an organization because of their religious beliefs is oppression, doesn’t matter if said organization offends you or not. You also have the right to eat someplace else.

      1. RevJay4 says:

        Totally agree. Others rights ends where my rights begin. The 1st Ammendment guarantees that limit to others rights.
        Does the restaurant or company restrict the rights of others to express their beliefs or preferences? If not, and they don’t in the case of Chik-fil-a, then there is no problem.
        “Rev. Rene” needs to do a bit more research into the business practices of Chik-fil-a. And the word, “bigot”.

      2. RevStyles says:

        If they were blocking them for their beliefs, you would be correct. However, they are being blocked for their actions. Discriminatory actions are not acceptable, and hiding behind the claim of religious belief is no excuse. If I say my religion believes I can rob banks, I’ll still get arrested if I take action on those beliefs.

        It would also be difficult for anyone to prove in court that there is any connection between ant-LGBT behavior and the teachings of Christ. So claiming that hatred of certain people is necessary to be a Christian won’t hold up.

  3. Miranda Allison Young says:

    Laws that allow people or businesses or anyone else to refuse service to anyone because of the religious issue are denying the rights of persons who are LGBTQ, women, Muslim, Jews, immigrants, or other minority. These minorities have the right to receive the same kind of service, be it eating in a restaurant or seeking certain medical treatments or anything else. Denying that is wrong and, I believe, unconstitutional.

    1. John Owens says:

      No one is denying anyone anything, except perhaps a lot of harpies trying to deny Chic- Fil-a the right to do business, which is unconstitutional.

      1. Bob Anderson says:

        Ah, John Owens is back, stirring the pot, as usual. How’s the weather in Moscow, John? Or whatever your real name is.

      2. RevJay4 says:

        Never heard of Chik-fil-a denying service to anyone because of their religious, or whatever, beliefs.
        If anyone has they can furnish a link to that article for all our enlightenment.
        Otherwise, its just smoke to confuse the rubes. An expression of bigotry from those who would have us think they are somehow more “woke” than anyone else.

        1. Tommy Kiefer says:

          Love your comments, it’s nice to see common sense being written here, sadly it’s rare.

    2. Minister Darrell says:

      I thought diversity meant acceptance of all views,including those that stand on the biblical and once societal view of traditional marriage.Religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution and should remain so.America is full of people and businesses that thrive on the idea of freedom,so ,If these principles of “diversity”were sincere,then those whose views are different should and would be included within the framework of diversity,but clearly this is not the case when it comes to religious expression.Religious expression is under attack even though it is protected and must be preserved.We should learn to accept our differences ,and accept the fact that we as people are not always going to agree,but we can at least respect that we are different.After all isn’t that what diversity teaches?.

      1. RevJay4 says:

        “Diversity” goes along with “tolerance” as words the left will use to bring anyone into line of their idea of both.
        Its only relevant if one agrees with the leftist definitions of both words. Which does not include whatever the dictionary actually defines the words to mean.

        1. Tommy Kiefer says:

          awesome!

    3. Jedi Hatter says:

      No one has any right to service. The constitution is a chain on GOVERNMENT action only. So no they are not infringing on any rights. Your property you get to decide who you service. Its that simple. You can feel its wrong and not shop there and if enough agree then maybe financial pressure will change their mind.

      1. Bob says:

        Jedi,
        I don’t think your premise is accurate. It is illegal to deny service to protected classes. Thus, you cannot deny service based upon race for example. In addition to limiting government action, the Constitution limits anyone’s actions who violates the individual rights granted in the Bill of Rights.

      2. Bob says:

        Jedi,
        I think your premise is incorrect. The Constitution is a check on anyone’s actions that might infringe on the rights that all individuals are granted through the Bill of Rights. Thus, you cannot deny service to people based upon race, for example. So, yes, people do have a right to service.

        1. Jedi Hatter says:

          No its not a check on anyone but the government. You know how you can prove that? A business can deny you the right to keep and bear arms by banning guns on its property. It can deny the right to free speech by setting language rules. It can deny freedom of assembly by refusing to allow you to hold a protest on its property. Finally there are even gender only classes for say gyms like curves or womens groups that bar men. So there are even examples that discriminate against a protected class such as gender.
          In short you do not understand the constitutions ( yes there is more then one state and federal ). The law that prevents a business denying service is NOT the same as the constitution nor does it make service a right. A business can deny you service for all sorts of reasons. Thus not a right.

          1. Tommy Kiefer says:

            Knowledge and common sense are great with you Jedi! Thanks!

    4. Rev Judith says:

      Chick-fil-a does not discriminate. They have NEVER refused to serve or hire someone due to their sexual orientation. The owner stated his religion believes in marriage between a man & woman. When GLBTQ citizens & supporters protested in front of their locations, the employees took water to the protesters. There is no hate emitted from this corporation. Even though they close on Sunday due their religious beliefs, they frequently open on Sunday to cook and distribute FREE food to victims and responders to various disasters. And they do not ask nor care the orientation nor religious beliefs of those they help.
      (PS. I don’t eat there because I’m a vegetarian, but I support their right to sell chicken)

      1. Tommy Kiefer says:

        AWESOME POST!!! Truth!!!!!!

    5. Pastor Peter says:

      if one does not like the religious affiliation, or at least the apparent bent of the corporation ,then one has the choice of not eating there. legislating against the company is patently unfair and undemocratic. this is an over reach by egotistical small town government. Small town, small minded councillors seem to think that they can rule their world. that is not the way America works

  4. Carrie says:

    So now a fast food joint is a protected species? This is a joke of a law from a joke of a state in a joke of a country. I propose they only open in Texas state parks where the rest of the protected species live and thrive!

    1. Seeker of Justice says:

      CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The christian chicken business… christians are such misguided people… and some of the whackiest are from Texas. From the TV show about a fake heaven being run by the devil, THE GOOD PLACE “There’s this chicken sandwich that, if you eat it, it means you hate gay people. And it’s delicious!”.

  5. Kirk says:

    So, Chick-Fil-A donated to Christian charities. That now supposedly means they are anti-LGBQT and deserve to be openly discriminated against? Umm, hypocrite much?

    1. Jeff says:

      I think people are mad because chick-fil-a funded conversion therapy groups and right wing anti lgbt groups specifically, not just Christian charities.

      1. RevJay4 says:

        And, that too, fits into the category of constitutional protection for what they do with their hard-earned money.
        Those donations are no worse than donations from the leftists for organizations which promote lgbt groups and “pride” parades.
        If you don’t like what they do with their profits, don’t eat there. Simple solution. Do it.

  6. Carl Elfstrom says:

    If you don’t like the place or what it stands for, don’t eat there. It’s as simple as that. If Texans are as opposed to the place and its prejudiced ways as the state government claims hardly anyone will ever eat there, and they’ll go out of business. I’m proud to be a Texan, and am not at all prejudiced. I’m not even prejudiced against prejudiced people, but prefer the taste of KFC original recipe, and my own fried chicken, so I probably won’t eat at any other chicken restaurant. I usually can’t afford to eat out anyway. I also like Shake-n-Bake, and really do’nt care for eating out. They don’t seem to like the way I throw tortillas like frisbees in Mexican restaurants, or pizza slices in Cici’s, anyway. When I want fried chicken, but don’t feel like cooking, I usually throw some Banquet frozen fried chicken in the microwave. However, if I was hungry, didn’t have any food at home, and Chik Fila was the closest was the closest eatery around…

  7. Robert Bruce Kelsey says:

    Based on the SCOTUS rulings in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), the company cannot refuse to provide services regardless of their or the customer’s religious preferences/beliefs. They can express their views however and wherever they please (remember, even *hate speech” is protected speech). but unless they can claim that their product is in some way ‘expressive speech’ they could not refuse service. Taking the company as a ‘virtual person’ (already established legal precedent), I suspect the TX AG will find a 1st amendment violation here, as would SCOTUS if it got that far.

    Fighting what one believes is discrimination by discriminating is not going to get us anywhere. Hate begets hate.

    1. Ken says:

      Exactly. Besides, the company is not politically active. The ownership FAMILY is. The company has never been in trouble for discrimination. If the city of San Antonio had rejected their proposal based on their closed on Sundays policy and had a 7-day/week operation rule they enforced evenly, I could support that. Sometimes, you have to pay a price for your convictions. That’s pretty normal. But the city specifically made their rejection on the grounds of religious objection. A gov’t entity cannot use a religious litmus test FOR OR AGAINST deeply held religious beliefs. That is the essence of the Establishment Clause. We have to defend the rights of those with whom we agree and disagree; even when we find them repulsive. If we no longer agree to such principles, the LGBTQ community will be in BIG trouble. Do the math!

    2. Doug says:

      If the Chick-Fil-A outlet would be the only food outlet in the terminal, then they could be contractually forced to provide service on Sundays, since the terminal is open 7 days a week. If they are not the only food outlet in the terminal, then their election to close on Sunday may be legal. But to exclude Chick-Fil-A from having an outlet in the airport terminal simply on the basis of the corporate owners’ beliefs and contributions should be wrong.

  8. John Owens says:

    Chick-fil-a would just as soon sell a chicken biscuit or breakfast burrito to a gay couple as a heterosexual couple. What are you people harping about?

    1. Tommy Kiefer says:

      110% truth!

  9. John P Hysell says:

    What is wrong with some of you people. God creates this world, and set down laws such as marriage is a union between a man and a woman. There is no discuession of the subject. The Holy bible is the final and infinent word of God.

    1. Greg says:

      Actually, there’s plenty of discussion on the subject. First off, the bible has references to many unions. A biblical argument against same sex marriage isn’t sustainable and most true biblical scholars know this.
      Second, the United States isn’t home to only Christians, and our laws are not intended to support a single religion.
      Third, the bible isn’t taken literally except when it’s convenient. We don’t stone people. We don’t force rapists to marry their victims.
      And fourth, the last time I checked, the bible doesn’t talk about survivor’s benefits for veterans, or social security. If marriage is tied to social benefits, then the bible isn’t relevant to the discussion.

      End of story.

  10. Janice A Ellery says:

    What if next time it is a Kosher deli or Asian fast food place owned by a muslim? Being able to deny a business permit based on the owner’s religious beliefs is opening up Pandora’s box. Let customers vote with their purchasing power decide which businesses to support. This is what a free market is all about.

    1. Russell says:

      This post is to the point. It’s a market. Let the market decide. And, if you look at the Koran and it’s view that anyone who disagrees with its principals should have their head smithed. We tolerate this in Muslim businesses as it should be. Folks should calm down and quit sensationalizing differences. Just love each other.

  11. utronald says:

    As all my family and friends know, I will never set foot in a Chick-fil-A. It is my personal way to express my opposition to many of the company’s policies toward their employees in wages, benefits and proselytizing. I believe people should vote with their feet, not by banning businesses from operating in their juristrictions–as long as the business is not violating any laws, of course. If I try to open a business as a secular humanist, should my city council be able to deny me a permit because I’m not a Christian? Seems clear to me. If people know about my beliefs (or lack of beliefs) let them vote with their feet and simply not buy my heathen chicken. Let them go to Chick-fil-A. Incidently, what faith was Col. Sanders? Should I boycott KFC?

  12. Carol Carter says:

    Opinions, we all have one. Mine is-they have every legal right to run their company as they choose. And potential customers have every right to not do business with them. Don’t like their policies and values? There’s another company down the road that has different ones. You aren’t required to buy from Chick-fil-A, so let them do their thing, and don’t buy from them, if that’s how you feel.

  13. Bob says:

    Interesting that the same people who believe the bakery should be able to discriminate against gays because of their LGBTQ beliefs, don’t think that Chick-fil-A should be discriminated against because of their LGBTQ beliefs. Which is it? Either you can discriminate based on such beliefs or not. At any rate, the real issue will come down to Chick-fil-A is not open on Sundays so their hours of operation are not consistent with the airport’s. The airport can simply indicate that businesses in their food court must be open for some minimum timeframe (like 7 days a week, 10 hours a day, for example).

  14. fred says:

    the point I think is can a non religious person refuse to serve people that have invisible friends and how would you know unless they say so right? The free publicity their getting is good for their bottom line. Tax payers once again paying for some groups self interest regardless who learns all the wrong life lessons. The young know if god don’t do it pass a law even while saying gods law not mans laws you follow gods law. I guess prejudice has to be laws praised for forcing a view not everyone really likes but has to live with!!!! Freedom from religion can a law also protect me from people killing freedom of thought. After all free does not mean to deny free thinking is bad some way silly. What would they think if they knew I practice the philosophy of c cultivating pleasure think I would get a sandwitch ? Or be told to leave but if I say nothing eats? Myths should not be allowed to make laws we are to a theocracy no freedom there.

  15. Rev Ned says:

    Everyone who wants the Homophobic Happy Meal should be able to buy one at the airport.

  16. BillM says:

    I agree with Carol, but with one small caveat. An airport is not an open, free marketplace. It is of limited size and therefore restricts the number of eateries that can be enclosed in it. The customers are passengers who have specific business at the airport and are not free to easily leave the grounds to find alternative ways to have a meal, especially if they’re waiting on a plane. I would also imagine the lease Covenants restrict similar restaurants from being there. A person who wanted chicken would not be able to choose between Chick-fil-A and, say, Kentucky fried chicken. So although in general, allowing businesses that harbor certain beliefs (but don’t act on those believes by discriminating against customers) should not be unreasonably restricted from operating. But in this particular situation, there may be cause for wanting to have only businesses that do not have any controversy associated with them.

  17. Chris says:

    What’s funny is this isn’t so much about Chick-Fil-A as it is about the airport. If a bakery or a pizza joint or a mechanic can pick and choose who they will do business with, why can’t the airport have the same consideration? Is it because the former businesses chose not to do business with liberal customers while the airport is choosing not to do business with a conservative business? Sure, people can choose not to give their custom to Chick-Fil-A, but the airport is under no obligation to provide a space for it. They’re just as free to choose who they will and will not do business with, and they chose not to do business with Chick-Fil-A. So now y’all are getting your knickers twisted? Hypocrites.

    1. Rev Judith says:

      But the local government is denying based on the owners religious beliefs and donations to organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Salvation Army. (they DO NOT discriminate against ANYONE).

  18. Jared Kent says:

    It is a very sad day when you have to create a law to enforce this company’s right to be in buissness.
    If we are to get equality for everyone that includes letting people live according to their beliefs regardless if their beliefs are offensive to you.
    Chick filet has every right to be in buissness anywhere they like. People in those areas have the right to choose to buy from them or not.
    The government has no right to deny them any customers just because a government employee does not like them.

  19. Secretary3rd says:

    Just think of all the other religions that need not buy from them. Let the Christians only buy from the. What will happen they will fold.

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