The current fad of banning Chick-fil-A from airports in blue cities may be coming to a quick end. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched an investigation into the current spate of airports that reneged on agreements to lease space to the chicken giant to score political points:
“The Department has received complaints alleging discrimination by two airport operators against a private company due to the expression of the owner’s religious beliefs,” the Department of Transportation said in a statement. “FAA’s Office of Civil Rights has notified the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) that it has opened investigations into these complaints.”
It is against federal law for airports that receive federal funds to discriminate based on religious affiliation or beliefs. Two airports, San Antonio Airport in Texas and Buffalo Niagra in New York, have kept Chick-fil-A out, citing the CEO’s stance against gay marriage. The Buffalo decision appears to have been spurred by New York Assemblyman, Sean Ryan (D), who took credit for the ban on his Facebook page and denied that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority had any need to be involved in what he was planning with the airport’s concessionaire, Delaware North. “I don’t believe there is anything to discuss with the NFTA on the issue,” wrote Ryan. “We can’t allow companies who support anti-LGBTQ groups to do business at state owned facilities.”
It seems that NFTA’s call to discuss the issue went unanswered.
Lawmakers in Texas are answering the challenge at the San Antonio airport by introducing legislation that would make it illegal for the government to punish a business based on the religious beliefs of its owners or operators.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.” Follow her on Twitter @MeganFoxWrit