Austin, Texas – Judge David Canales, a Bexar County district judge, ruled late last week that a lawsuit against the City of San Antonio over its ban of Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio airport may proceed.
Mary Elizabeth Castle, Policy Advisor for Texas Values said: “We applaud Judge Canales for allowing this case to continue, and are grateful for the Texas Legislature that protected religious freedom and First Amendment speech, including speech through donations.”
This lawsuit stems from City Council’s discriminatory actions against Chick-fil-A because of their past donations to Christian organizations like the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The actions by the San Antonio City Council prompted legislation at the State level which became known as the popular “Save Chick-fil-A religious freedom law” but was originally titled the Frist Amendment Defense Act. This bill has always been about more than just Chick-fil-A and prohibits government entities from taking “adverse action” against ANY individual or corporation based on their support, donation, or affiliation with a religious organization. Texas Values was the leading supporter of this bill.
After this bill was signed into law by Governor Abbott, five residents of San Antonio sued the city due to their continued discrimination and ban against Chick-fil-A, thereby violating the new law. They are seeking an injunction that would require the City of San Antonio to install a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the San Antonio City airport as originally planned. The city of San Antonio had moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing and the plaintiffs were seeking to apply Senate Bill 1978 retroactively. Judge David Canales rejected each of these arguments and held that the plaintiffs’ lawsuit against the city may proceed.