Texas’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted on Monday to pass a “Save Chick-fil-A” bill.
The “Save Chick-fil-A” bill does not allow the government to take “any adverse action” against any contractor, individual or business because of their religious beliefs.
“It strengthens and reaffirms Texas’s First Amendment rights,” Republican state Rep. Matt Krause said to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We had seen instances around the country where individuals were starting to be penalized … for what they believed or who they associated with.”
“I thought that this started a very dangerous precedent and wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t go down that road,” he said.
Krause sponsored the measure.
The San Antonio City Council decided in March to ban Chick-fil-A from the city’s airport because of the restaurant chain’s history of anti-LGBT comments and actions.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, began an investigation after the city’s vote in order to see if councilmen had violated any laws.
The House LGBTQ Caucus, created in January as a forum for Texas legislators to talk about LGBT issues and promote equality, kept a House version of the Chick-fil-A bill from passing earlier in May.
The Texas Senate passed a companion bill on May 16.
The Senate version of the bill passed the state House 79 to 62, a near party line vote. It will head to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk if the Senate agrees to changes made by representatives.
So. What are the odds I’ll sign the Chick-fil-A bill?
I’ll let you know after dinner.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 21, 2019
Democratic state Rep. Jessica González, who serves as the vice chair of the LGBTQ Caucus, tried but failed to add language that would have protected the LGBT community from discrimination. Other Democrats spoke out against the bill as well.
“It’s been clocked in religious freedom, but the genesis, the nexus of this bill, is in hatred,” Democratic state Rep. Celia Israel said, according to the Tribune.
Republicans, on the other hand, do not see it this way.
“If you look at the language of this bill, there’s no discriminatory language,” Krause said to TheDCNF.
“It applies to everyone evenly across the board. To insinuate that is inaccurate.”
Chick-fil-A has come under fire from the LGBT community for donations to certain companies and past comments made from its CEO Dan Cathy.
“Chick-fil-A was not involved with, nor did we organize any event related to this bill in any way,” Chick-fil-A said in a statement to TheDCNF. “We are a restaurant company focused on food and hospitality for all, and we have no social or political stance.”
Chick-fil-A reportedly donated in 2017 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, The Salvation Army and Paul Anderson Youth Home, among other groups. These organizations have been accused by some as being anti-LGBT.
“We are grateful for all our customers and are glad to serve them at any time,” Chick-fil-A added.
“We welcome and embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
The Senate version of the bill is set for a final reading in the House Tuesday, according to NBC.
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