Texas Supreme Court Asks for Merits Briefing in Lawsuit Over San Antonio’s Unconstitutional Chick-fil-A Ban

On Friday, June 18, 2021, the Texas Supreme Court asked for merits briefing in a lawsuit brought against the city of San Antonio over its decision to ban Chick-fil-A from its airport. The city council previously voted to ban Chick-fil-A in response to pressure from radical activists, who wanted to punish the company for donating money to Christian organizations such as the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Each of these organizations adheres to Christian teaching that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman.

America First Legal urged the Texas Supreme Court to review the case and is pleased that the Court has called for merits briefing. AFL Vice-President and General Counsel, Gene Hamilton, praised the Court’s decision: 

“San Antonio’s decision to ban Chick-fil-A from its airport was a blatant violation of the First Amendment and an assault on religious freedom. The U.S. Supreme Court made clear last week that cities cannot exclude or penalize organizations that refuse to recognize same-sex marriage for religious reasons. Yet the city of San Antonio is continuing to defend its Chick-fil-A ban even after the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Fulton v. Philadelphia. We are encouraged that the Texas Supreme Court has requested merits briefing, and we urge the Court to hold San Antonio accountable for its egregious and intolerant actions against a Christian business.” 

As of last year, the city of San Antonio had already spent over $300,000 in taxpayer money on legal bills incurred by the Chick-fil-A litigation — an amount that will increase significantly now that the state supreme court has called for merits briefing. The city will also be liable to pay the legal fees of the plaintiffs if they prevail in their lawsuit against the city. 

Read the Court’s invitation for merits briefs here

Read AFL’s amicus brief to the Texas Supreme Court here

To schedule an engagement with American First Legal, please email [email protected].

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