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The GOP’s effort to force an airport to open a Chick-fil-A is costing this city big bucks

Texas Governor Greg Abbott surrounded himself with fast food sandwiches to sign the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill into law.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott surrounded himself with fast food sandwiches to sign the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill into law.Photo: Twitter/Greg Abbott

After San Antonio city councilors banned Chick-fil-A from opening a location in the local airport, citing their anti-LGBTQ history, Texas Republicans immediately sprang to the company’s defense. Now it’s been revealed that the GOP effort to “save Chick-fil-A” is quickly approaching a half-million dollars for the city – and that doesn’t include the cost to state and federal taxpayers.

The knee-jerk reaction from the party of limited government included the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, which forbid state and local government agencies from taking actions against a group or business that is acting on religious or political beliefs. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) gleefully signed the legislation surrounded by Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

Related: The last Chick-fil-A in the UK is shutting down after months of nonstop protest

Immediately after the vote, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) promised to open an investigation into “religious discrimination” against the fast-food chain. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later announced they would investigate at the urging of state Republicans.

The cost of defending the decision from two separate lawsuits and the federal investigation has already cost the city $315,000 with more invoices outstanding. As the investigation and litigation continue to drag on, the cost of defending civil rights has become costly for the Texas city.

Abbott and Paxton were left in a lurch, however, when the fast-food chicken chain announced that they would stop donating to anti-LGBTQ causes and organizations. Enraged conservatives, who spent years defending the chain’s right to fund hate groups, quickly turned on their former favorite chicken shack.

The Family Research Council, a religious right charity classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was particularly peeved. While the organization spent considerable energy defending the chain’s anti-LGBTQ history, Perkins quickly changed his tune after the company announced they would give to children’s charities and food banks over anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army.

“Millions of families drove out of their way to stop at Chick-fil-A – not because the chicken was that good, but because their conviction was,” Perkins wrote to supporters in a slap at the company’s sandwiches that the group had previously touted as the best in the business.

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