SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Chick-fil-A-SAT saga has just gotten messier.
A Dallas-area legal organization 'dedicated exclusively to protecting religious liberty for all Americans' has entered the drama, calling on the United States Department of Transportation to open a discrimination investigation into the San Antonio City Council, suggesting they may have 'violated federal law protecting religious liberty.'
In a six-page letter sent to KENS 5 Thursday, the organization points to 'evidence of pervasive, intentional religious discrimination by members of the City Council of San Antonio.'
The letter goes on to support their case, calling out multiple councilmembers including Councilman Manny Peláez described Chick-fil-A as a “symbol of hate” because it has donated to religious charities that he considered to oppose LGBTQ rights.
The saga began after San Antonio's City Council's voted 6-4 to exclude Chick-fil-A from a new retail and restaurant agreement at the airport.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg is one of the six who voted against Chick-Fil-A. Despite the blow-back, he is still standing by his vote. "We want to make sure these sub-contracts for restaurants at the airport show off the best of San Antonio," he said. "15 percent of volume in the airport happens on a Sunday and we want to make sure there's a restaurant there that's open every day."
Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday. District One Councilman Roberto Treviño said the city does not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of Anti-LGBTQ behavior. Chick-fil-A is accused of donating to groups that discriminate against the gay community.
San Antonio resident Carli Njie hopes council reconsiders its decision. "Why are we taking a restaurant from a place that involves everyone's taxes? That really doesn't make any sense to me," she said.
The city is looking for another company with the same revenue potential. Design and construction will move forward for the eight other businesses in terminal A.
The call for an investigation is one of a number of negative responses to the saga. City Councilman Greg Brockhouse penned a letter apologizing to Chick-fil-A and Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted one word in regards to the debacle: 'Ridiculous.'
Read the full letter HERE.