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Saturday, September 21, 2019

AG Paxton: San Antonio agrees to deliver records over city’s decision to ban Chick-fil-A from airport

Attorneys & Judges

By David Yates | Aug 19, 2019


Paxton

AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton recently announced that his office reached an agreement with the City of San Antonio regarding an April 11 open records request for documents related to the City’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport based on the restaurant chain’s donations to religious ministries. 

Under the agreement, the City of San Antonio will provide Attorney General Paxton with documents pertaining to the City’s communications, meetings, and records related to the exclusion of Chick-fil-A. 

The Office of the Attorney General will then have three business days to both notify the City of San Antonio if additional documents are needed and file an agreed notice to dismiss the ongoing open records lawsuit.    

“Excluding a company and its owner based on their religious beliefs demonstrates a total disregard for Texas law and the First Amendment protections in our Constitution. I look forward to reviewing the City of San Antonio’s records surrounding this discriminatory decision,” Paxton said. “Our great state deeply values the First Amendment, and my office will defend those rights for all who live and operate in Texas.”

The First Amendment protects individuals and closely held companies from governmental restrictions based on their religious views or religious status. Additionally, federal regulations governing grant money provided to the San Antonio airport prohibit religious discrimination.

 In July, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1978, which prohibits the government from discriminating against anyone who donates to, affiliates with, or supports a religious organization.

On March 28, Paxton sent a letter to the mayor and city council members of San Antonio announcing an investigation regarding their decision. In a separate letter, Paxton also urged Secretary Elaine Chao of the United States Department of Transportation to open an investigation into the City of San Antonio’s potential violation of federal law and Transportation Department regulations.

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