Federal Complaints Allege Airports Restrict Religious Freedom by Excluding Chick-fil-a
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking into San Antonio International and Buffalo Niagara International airports after religious discrimination complaints were lodged over the fact that Chick-fil-A restaurants are not allowed at the facilities.
“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 FAA told Fox News.
It is illegal for federally-funded airports to discriminate against private entities based on their religious beliefs. If investigators determine that there is a basis behind these complaints, these airports will effectively be in violation of the law of the land.
“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.
Chick-fil-A has directed money toward pro-Christian groups throughout the country, some of which have opposed gay marriage, making them hated by the Left. It hasn’t hurt their profit margins though as the unabashedly Christian, pro-family restaurant chain remains the nation’s leading chicken outfit.
San Antonio’s city council is on the record banning Chick-fil-A from operating in their airport for its “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.” Buffalo Niagara International caved and threw Chick-fil-A under the bus after a Democratic public official called them an “anti-LGBTQ corporation.”
If the FAA determines that these declarations constituted religious discrimination, Chick-fil-A could end up at these airports whether liberals like it or not.
First Liberty, a Christian organization that fights for religious liberty, issued the complaint to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in March. The organization believes that the San Antonio decision was anti-Christian and should disqualify them from certain federal grants.
“Federal taxpayers should not be required to subsidize religious bigotry,” First Liberty said about San Antonio’s decision to exclude Chick-fil-A.
The Christian organization is happy that their complaints are being taken seriously, as First Liberty pushes back against the hate campaign waged against Chick-fil-A from the Left.
“We are pleased that the FAA responded to our request by opening an investigation into San Antonio for its blatant, illegal religious discrimination against Chick-fil-A,” said First Liberty Associate Counsel Keisha Russell to Fox News.
“First Liberty also launched our own investigation into the City’s actions and we vow to get to the bottom of San Antonio’s decision. American business owners should not have to suffer because they want to operate their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs. Few things are more un-American than government hostility against religion,” Russell added.
The state of Texas is rallying around Chick-fil-A, and a bill has been approved by the Texas legislature to override the anti-Christian decision by the San Antonio city council.
“The bill as filed ensures religious beliefs are protected from discrimination. It’s about the First Amendment and freedom of speech, freedom of religion — those uniquely American rights,” the author of the legislation said. It is expected to be signed into law in the near future.
Chick-fil-A maintains that they are not a discriminatory organization and are focused only on making delicious food for customers.
“We are grateful for all our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. We welcome and embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity,” the organization told Fox News.
Nevertheless, Chick-fil-A has become a lightning rod in the culture war. The increasing discrimination against Christians is a disturbing trend across the U.S., as religious exemptions for vaccinations and other religious protections are under attack. This would be a small but important victory for Christians if these complaints can Chick-fil-A operating at these airports.