Local group sues San Antonio over decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from airport concessions contract

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Five local residents are suing the City of San Antonio over a decision last March to keep Chick-fil-A out of the airport.

One councilman cited the company’s donations to Christian organizations that oppose same-sex marriage and another called Chick-fil-A “a symbol of hate.”

The vote was 6-4 with one abstention to exclude the popular restaurant chain from the San Antonio International Airport concessions contract.

Michael Knuffke, president of the San Antonio Family Association, says every business owner should be concerned about this.

“If anyone is self-employed or a business owner or what have you, how do they know that they don’t have a bull’s eye on their business because they gave to Christian charities?” asked Knuffke during an interview with KTSA News. “Americans should be absolutely outraged about this religious liberty restriction that the San Antonio City Council has placed on Chick-fil-A.”

Knuffke, Patrick Von Dohlen, Brian Greco, Daniel Petri and Jason Khattar are plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the city.

“To restrict Chick-fil-A because they’ve given to charities that are Christian is absolutely overreach,” said Knuffke.

The lawsuit seeks to bar the city from allowing any vendor other than Chick-fil-A to operate in the space that had been reserved for the restaurant chain in the original concessions proposal.

“Any vendor that attempts to occupy this space should be on notice,” said Von Dohlen. “The city’s efforts to replace Chick-fil-A violate state law and we are suing to stop this from happening.”

The restaurant chain is not a party to this lawsuit.

“We have not coordinated anything with them. We haven’t talked to them. We have not reached out to them,” said Knuffke.

The Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation against the city in May, responding to requests from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“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.”

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