Here We Go: Federal Investigations Begin Into San Antonio, Buffalo Airport Bans on Chick-fil-A

Image via TX AG Ken Paxton's Twitter feed.
Image via TX AG Ken Paxton’s Twitter feed.

In light of complaints they’ve received about the banning of the Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant chain from airport locations in San Antonio and Buffalo, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that it would be launching investigations.


Fox News reports:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating two airports — San Antonio International and Buffalo Niagara International — over religious discrimination complaints, following the exclusion of Chick-fil-a from the premises, Fox News confirmed on Friday.

“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,” the agency said in a statement provided to Fox News.

According to the agency, federally funded airports cannot discriminate on the basis of religion. “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,” it said.

In late March, the San Antonio city council voted to effectively ban the restaurant from their airport for seven years after a report from the liberal website Think Progress was released detailing Chick-fil-A’s 2017 charitable contributions.

Two weeks later, a Democrat state lawmaker in New York apparently used his influence to get the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to nix plans to include the restaurant in an upcoming Buffalo Niagara International Airport project.

In response to the San Antonio move, Texas Attorney General (R) Ken Paxton ordered his office to investigate the actions of the city council. In the letter he sent to San Antonio’s mayor and city council members, Paxton copied U.S. Dept. of Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao.


Earlier this week, the Texas state legislature passed a “save Chick-fil-A” bill that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is expected to sign.

In response to the FAA’s move, San Antonio’s city attorney says they are reviewing their options:

The San Antonio International Airport receives millions of dollars in grants from the federal government. Future funds could be threatened if the probe finds that the City Council discriminated against Chick-fil-A’s owners based on religion.

City Attorney Andy Segovia said his office received the notice Friday and would need time to review it “to determine our course of action.”

Stay tuned.

—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–


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