Judge Denies San Antonio’s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Filed After Chick-fil-A Was Blocked from Opening Restaurant in City’s Airport

Commuters walk past a Chick-fil-A freestanding franchise in Midtown, New York, October 3, 2015. | Reuters/Rashid Umar Abbasi

A judge in Texas has denied the city of San Antonio’s motion Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit filed after Chick-fil-A was blocked by the city council from opening a new location in the city’s airport. 

Bexar County Judge David Canales is allowing a lawsuit to move forward that was brought by five residents who believe the city council discriminated against the popular chicken sandwich chain when it voted last March to block the company from opening a location at San Antonio International Airport.

The lawsuit was filed last September.

“Now the teams can get on the playing field and argue the merits of the case,” plaintiff Michael Knuffke said in a statement following the judge’s dismissal of the city’s motion.

“One step forward for the case and one large step forward [for] any citizen and for all businesses [and] business owners to have the liberty to give to charities of their choice without (fear of) government retaliation.”

The San Antonio City Council’s vote came after Chick-fil-A, known for its Christian values, faced scrutiny in the media for donating to Christian nonprofit organizations that uphold a traditional Christian belief that marriage is a union between only one man and one woman.

Last June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot signed into law the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, which bars local governments from taking “adverse action” against a company or individual for donating to religious groups.

The law allows “any person who alleges a violation” of the new law to “sue the governmental entity.”

The plaintiffs’ lawsuit asks the court to use its authority to prohibit the city from allowing any vendor other than Chick-fil-A from operating in the space at the airport that had been reserved for Chick-fil-A under an initial concession agreement.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith