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Law to 'Save Chick-fil-A' Will Hurt Gay Community: Critics

Democrats angered by new Texas bill providing religious protections
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2019 11:00 AM CDT
Protesters hold signs supporting gay marriage outside of a Chick-fil-A in Tyler, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2012.   (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph via AP, File)

(Newser) – Chick-fil-A has a fan in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who on Monday signed into law a bill that blocks "adverse action" against the restaurant and other businesses and persons for contributions to religious groups. The "Save Chick-fil-A" law, to take effect Sept. 1, stems from a decision to block a Chick-fil-A restaurant from opening at San Antonio's airport. In March, councilman Roberto Trevino reportedly said the city did "not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior," referencing donations to Christian groups including the Salvation Army, per Fox News. Opponents of the bill, however, fear the legislation meant to protect constitutional rights, fast-tracked in the GOP-controlled legislature, will only lead to discrimination.

Members of the new LGBTQ Caucus stood arm in arm, urging Republicans to kill the bill, as it passed the House with a 79-64 vote last month, per Dallas News. "This bill is aimed at me. It's about reminding those of us who have never belonged not to get too comfortable," said openly gay Democratic Rep. Jessica Gonzalez. But the bill's sponsor in the House, GOP Rep. Matt Krause, said Chick-fil-A was being unfairly targeted for donations to groups also supported by Walmart and Home Depot. Per ThinkProgress, Chick-fil-A donated in 2017 almost $1.7 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes—whose employee policy requiring "sexual purity" bans "homosexual acts"—and $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which labels same-sex marriage as a "rage against Jesus Christ." (Read more Texas stories.)

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