Save Chick-fil-A Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Abbott

A Chick-fil-A restaurant at night. (Photo by Tony Webster.)

A Chick-fil-A restaurant at night. (Photo by Tony Webster.)

June 11, 2019 - State Capital (Austin, Texas)

Article By: Jonathan Guajardo - Writer, SA Sentinel

Abbott speaking at the 2016  World Travel and Tourism Council  conference. (Photo Credit:  World Travel and Tourism Council)

Abbott speaking at the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council conference. (Photo Credit: World Travel and Tourism Council)

Tuesday at the State Capital, Governor Abbott would weigh in on the Chick-fil-A controversy by signing SB 1978, also known as the Save Chick-fil-A religious bill. Despite its sensationalist name, the Save Chick-fil-A bill protects any company who donates to, or is affiliated with, a religious organization from government discrimination.

SB 1978 describes itself as: “An act relating to the protection of membership in, affiliation with, and support provided to religious organizations.” Having received a 19-12 vote to pass the Senate on May 16th and a 79-64 vote to pass the House on May 23rd, the bill was signed by Governor Abbott on June 11th and will go into effect on September 1, 2019.

For those unfamiliar with the Chick-fil-A debacle, the issue hatched within the chambers of the San Antonio City Council when they voted to exclude the fast-food chain from the SA International Airport contract due in large part of their donations to Christian organizations considered Anti-LGBTQ, such as the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The issue proved to be one of the most divisive and high-profile topics of the year with some members of the council even referring to the fast-food staple as a “symbol of hate.”

Trinity University also weighted into the issue when their student government voted to remove the restaurant from their campus meal program Revolve. Despite the students’ best efforts however, the university’s administration decided to keep the chain in rotation as part of the campus’ dining options.

Jonathan Saenz, President of the Texas Values Action, responded to Governor Abbott’s recent signature of the Bill. “We thank Governor Abbott for signing this common sense, bipartisan supported religious freedom legislation into law and for the leadership of Senator Bryan Hughes and Rep. Matt Krause,” stated Saenz. “The Save Chick-fil-A law makes it clear in Texas; you don’t mess with Chick Fil A, and you don’t mess with religious freedom.“