Two major U.S. airports might soon regret their decision to ban the popularfast-food chain Chick-fil-A after the Federal Aviation Administration announced an investigation into the matter, based on a discrimination complaint.
According toFox News,the FAA will be exploring why San Antonio International in Texas and Buffalo Niagara International in New York prevented Chick-fil-A — known for its commitment to traditional Christian values — from opening locations in the airports.
The investigation was launched after the FAA received complaints of religious discrimination from First Liberty, a law firm specializing in religious freedom cases.
“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 said in a statement to Fox News.
The problem is simple: Taxpayer-funded airports can’t discriminate against aprivate businessfor religious reasons. Private airports essentially can do as they please, but the San Antonio and Buffalo Niagara airports received federal dollars.
“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,” the agency said.
In the case of San Antonio International, Chick-fil-A was rejected narrowly based on its supposed “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
The move was pushed by a liberal city councilman.
A Democratic state assemblyman was primarily responsible forexcluding Chick-fil-Afrom Buffalo Niagara International after exerting pressure and accusing the chicken chain of being an “anti-LGBTQ corporation.”
One would think that airport lawyers — who presumably sign off on decisions like these — would have a better understanding of the rules regarding federally funded airports.
First Liberty Associate Counsel Keisha Russell slammed the San Antonio airport for “blatant, illegal, religious discrimination.”
“We are pleased that the FAA responded to our request by opening an investigation into San Antonio,” she said in a statement.