As a lawsuit in the national spotlight moves forward, the City of San Antonio, Texas, is being ordered to give up records regarding its discriminatory treatment of Chick-fil-A – keeping it from opening up shop at the city’s airport due to its core Christian values.
First Liberty Institute and the Texas Attorney General's Office both requested records from the San Antonio City Council on Chick-fil-A’s behalf in the lawsuit through the Open Records Request Act – records having to do with the decision to pull a contract with Chick-fil-A to have a location in the San Antonio Airport.
First Liberty Associate Counsel Keisha Russell – whose Christian legal team is representing America’s third-largest restaurant chain – continues to press the city to release evidence proving its culpability in the matter.
"San Antonio has refused to hand over those records, and because of that, both First Liberty and the Texas Attorney General's Office are suing San Antonio for not giving up those records," Russell explained. "In this lawsuit, it's to compel them to give up those documents."
The stated reason for not allowing Chick-fil-A to open in the airport was because Chick-fil-A had given donations to groups, including The Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes – two evangelical nonprofit organizations that adhere to biblical morality regarding marriage and other gender/human sexuality issues. According to the city council members that objected to Chick-fil-A, those ministries have "an anti-LGBTQ record."
The Christian legal group contends that the overlying significance of the case is much more far-reaching than just having to do with one restaurant not being able to open.
"Chick-fil-A is a really large restaurant," Russell noted. "They could suffer through this if they needed to.”
She stressed that if the city can go after Chick-fil-A for its views, it can go after anybody.
“If we talk about a local or smaller business – or even an individual – once the government starts deciding what beliefs are okay and what beliefs are not okay – and then use their enforcement power in order to make people believe something – then we're in very dangerous territory,” Russell impressed. “And that would apply to every American – no matter what you believe."