FAA Reportedly Rules For Chick-Fil-A Over San Antonio Airport Concession

In the last few years, Chick-fil-A restaurants have been banned from campuses and airports.  The campaign started in 2012 after public comments opposing same-sex marriage by Dan Cathy, the company’s CEO and the disclosure that that Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, the S. Truett Cathy-operated WinShape Foundation, donated millions of dollars to organizations viewed as hostile to LGBT rights.  As someone who supported same-sex marriage for decades as well as LGBT rights, I have voiced my concerns over free speech and free exercise in these campaigns.  Now, Fox is reporting that the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered City of San Antonio to offer the popular eatery a lease at its airport after concluding that the city was punishing the company for the religious views of its management.

The City Council denied the fast-food operator a lease at the airport despite being one of the most popular eateries. Mayor Ron Nirenberg and five council members voted to approve the master-concessionaire contract with Paradies Lagardère, on the condition that it dropped Chick-fil-A from its restaurants. Four council members dissented and one abstained.

The company has argued that it has complied with federal discrimination and workplace laws and that these campaigns have raged after its CEO exercised his free speech rights in expressing his view of same sex marriage.

The FAA announced its investigation last May, after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sought the probe over a “potential breach of federal law.”

Once again, I strongly disagree with the views of Cathy.  However, if the company is engaging in unlawful discrimination, it can be charged and held accountable. The campaigns on campuses are expressly linked to the controversy over the comments by Cathy. It was one of the earliest examples of the “cancel culture” and the intolerance for opposing views.

This is a rare move by the FAA and it will be interesting to see if San Antonio litigates this further. However, the problem is that the record is a poor one for the city given the statements of Nirenberg and others. The move was popular as retaliation against Cathy for his statements. That record will now be combined with the possible use of Chevron deference from an agency decision. San Antonio would be best served to give the lease and allow the market to address any consumer objections to the owners or management of the company.






65 thoughts on “FAA Reportedly Rules For Chick-Fil-A Over San Antonio Airport Concession”

  1. Chick-fil-A is one of those instances where the business owner openly engages in political speech. However, its locations are politically neutral. I have eaten at Chick-fil-A many times, and found the staff universally polite, courteous, and professional. Tales abound of Chick-fil-A staff bringing food to motorists snowed in on freeways, or otherwise helping customers. I have seen white, black, hispanic, and Asian staff members at at the location I have frequented.

    It’s my favorite quick service restaurant.

    The gay marriage issue is more complex than I thought it was. I still support gay marriage. I think 2 committed people should have the same legal protections as a heterosexual married couple. If someone has neglected to obtain a medical power of attorney for their SO, then same sex marriage provides that partner with certain legal rights over your care if you are incapacitated.

    That said, I vehemently disagree with targeting or punishing business owners who wish to abstain from making custom creations, or participating, in gay weddings or other gay themed events. For instance, Gay Pride events can get pretty rowdy. My grandparents would not have been comfortable working a gay wedding. I would hate for anyone to be forced to create a special design or take a job that made them feel uncomfortable, or was against their religion. I have been very disappointed in using gay marriage as a weapon to bash individual business owners.

    For me, I have worked out the answer that anyone can come into a shop or restaurant, and buy any ready made item. But they should not have the right to force any business owner to custom create any project they disagree with.

    Racists have the First Amendment right to say whatever ugly screed they want, without getting arrested. But they don’t have the right to demand a baker custom bake them a cake that promotes the Klan, or bashes black people.

    I think gay people have the right to associate with whomever they choose. I would happily attend a gay wedding, or photograph it, or back a confection to celebrate. Hurray for love, commitment, and monogamy! But I would not enjoy going to a polygamous ceremony sealing a 16 year old girl with her parents’ permission to a 45-year old man as his 6th concubine with her “sister wives.” I think the practice is mentally unhealthy, unfair to the boys produced, statistically breeds jealousy and unhappiness, and frankly pressures women to ignore what’s healthy for them. The man gets multiple wives while the woman gets a fraction of a husband. Eew. I’m not hypothetically baking any cake to celebrate that.

    Everyone has their own beliefs. Control over your own speech and opinions is a basic human right. Forcing a baker to custom create a cake that is blue on the outside, and pink on the inside, celebrating gender dysphoria, creating a custom gay wedding cake, or even creating a Satanic cake (all attempts actually made to force upon one baker), is compelled speech. Which should be un-Constitutional.

    Likewise, a black guy should be welcome to come into any bakery and buy anything he wants off the shelf. But if the owner feels BLM is anti-cop, anti-semitic, racist against whites, and promotes criminal behavior, that customer should not be able to force any baker to custom create a pro-BLM cake against his will.

    1. Karen, most of these issues are pushed to the extremes. Totally unnecessary. IMO the intention of the radicals is political and aimed against other beliefs.

      The big problem with gay marriages were federal issues such as social security. It was discriminatory toward gays but that didn’t necessarily mean it was wrong. Presently social security benefits for the spouse are discriminatory to the single individual. The issues such as alimony, property, healthcare surrogate could all be put into a contract because that is what the marriage contract essentially is. We created a lot of hate where none should have existed. Government has gotten to involved in our lives.

  2. The San Antonio City Council passed a resolution declaring the expression “Chinese Virus” to be hate speech

    I phoned their police department and asked what they were going to do if someone said it. They weren’t sure.

    Between chicken restaurants and viruses they aren’t making good use of their time these days.

    1. The “Spanish Flu of 1918” was produced in China and killed 500 million people worldwide. Spain was the only source of news at the time, thus the name. Ditto the Hong Kong Flu. Ultimately, nothing good comes out of China. Being now fully prepared both economically and militarily, China deliberately developed and deployed “The China Flu, 2020” to commence and simultaneously conclude WWIII in order to conclusively propagate the dominion of communism globally.

      Communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) sing, “Oh, Happy Day!”

  3. Let’s eliminate the false core issue.

    While people with psychological problems should never be assailed for suffering with those problems, homosexual marriage is impossible.

    Homosexual marriage is an oxymoronic contradiction in terms and a semantic cancellation.

    Marriage is derived from “Mary” Mother of God, Jesus’ mother “Mary” and Jesus’ mother of his children, Mary Magdalene, and Matrimony is derived from the Latin, Mater, or mother because marriage is an institution of, by and for ONLY procreation; pregnancy and childbirth, which homosexuals will never be capable of.

    While homosexuals many enter into civil contracts, homosexuals can never marry or engage in matrimony because homosexuals can never be any part of a procreative process.

    Think about what you are saying.

  4. Business owners, of any political persuasion, unanimously support the concept of the “Corporate Veil” (including Dan Cathy). Cathy could transform his business into a “sole proprietorship” model where the business owner is more free to discriminate.

    Cathy incorporated his business, which created two separate persons: a human-person (business owner) and a corporate-person (company). Business owners do this to create two entirely separate entities. If a business goes into debt and folds, creditors, shareholders and customers owed money can only pursue the corporate-person. Unless criminality is involved, Cathy’s house, car and personal assets are “separated” from the business. An owner may lose the business but not his personal assets.

    The “human-person” (business owner) can have religious beliefs in his personal dealings but the “corporate-person” has no religious beliefs, it’s a legal but fictitious entity.

    The constitutional issue is can a “corporate-person” use the tax code exemptions and consumer dollars to promote one religious interpretation over another? Corporate-persons pass all expenses, including taxes, onto American taxpayers and consumers. It would seem unconstitutional that LGBT should subsidize this on the corporate-person side. Cathy is free to donate any amount to any cause deriving from his personal income.

    Some Christians view LGBT rights as an equal sin as supporting the death penalty or optional-war. This is just Cathy’s religious interpretation (human-person) not that of the corporate-person. The U.S. Supreme Court erred, in my opinion, on a similar “Hobby Lobby” case where the court essentially pierced and weakened the corporate-view. This legaleze was expanded further under “Citizens United”.

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