Texas Senate Passes ‘Save Chick-Fil-A’ Bill
The Texas Senate late last week passed a bill aimed at protecting individuals from adverse actions by government entities based on that person's religious affiliations or actions.
"Notwithstanding any other law, a governmental entity may not take any adverse action against any person based wholly or partly on a person's belief or action in accordance with the person's sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction, including beliefs or convictions regarding marriage," Senate Bill 1978 reads.
The legislation, authored by Rep. State Senator Bryan Hugues, basically aims to prevent a situation such as that which has unfolded in San Antonio, in which the city council voted to exclude Chick-Fil-A from a concessions contract with the city's airport. The decision was reportedly prompted by reports that the fast food giant donated funds to groups that actively oppose the LGBTQ community.
Critics argue the bill will encourage discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community, while some feel the final version of the bill didn't go far enough in protecting a private entity's right to refuse service to certain customers based on religious convictions. Critics on both sides of the aisle have said the bill is simply a rehash of religious freedom laws already on the books.
The bill will be debated in the Texas House, which will have until Memorial Day to vote yay or nay and send the legislation to Governor Greg Abbott's desk.