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'Religious Animosity': Lawsuit Seeks Hidden Records Behind San Antonio Blockade of Chick-fil-A 

07-09-2019
(Image credit: Chick-fil-A)
(Image credit: Chick-fil-A)

First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty law firm, on Tuesday, announced it has joined a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton demanding documents from San Antonio city officials regarding the city's decision to keep Chick-fil-A from operating at the San Antonio International Airport. 

Last April, the city denied First Liberty attorneys access to the public records regarding the city council vote. 

"If San Antonio city officials are proud of their decision to ban Chick-fil-A from the city's airport, why do they insist on hiding from the public its records about the decision?" said Keisha Russell, First Liberty counsel.  

"The public deserves to know just how deeply the religious animosity runs within San Antonio's city government. We're happy to be joining General Paxton in the effort to get to the bottom of San Antonio's decision," she said.

As CBN News reported, last March, Councilman Roberto Trevino led the charge for a vote to remove Chick-fil-A from the concessions contract, citing its history of giving to organizations he categorized as anti-LGBTQ.

Chick-fil-A has been open about its charitable giving. A recent report explained its donations to local groups in Atlanta as well as national organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Salvation Army, Junior Achievement and the Paul Anderson Youth Homes.

Paxton told the mayor and council after its first vote on Chick-fil-A that he had "serious concerns" about religious liberty. Paxton said he's starting an investigation to determine if the vote violates state law and has asked the federal Department of Transportation to review it as well.

In an interview with CBN News in April, Russell said the recent US Supreme Court decision involving Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Denver, might influence how investigators view what's happening in San Antonio.

"The city council members are demonstrating hostility which is one of the things that the court said in Masterpiece is blatantly unconstitutional," she said.

Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill into law. The new law prohibits the government from taking "adverse action" against an individual or business based on contributions to religious organizations.

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