Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law what’s been dubbed the “Save Chick-fil-A Bill.”
The legislation prohibits the state and its cities and counties from punishing individuals or businesses because of their membership in or donations to religious organizations, including anti-LGBTQ ones.
It’s aimed at preventing situations like the one that occurred a few months ago in San Antonio, where the City Council voted not to allow a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the local airport because of the company’s donations to anti-LGBTQ organizations.
The bill was almost killed in the Texas House of Representatives early in May when out Rep. Julie Johnson used a procedural move to keep it from coming up for debate by the deadline for considering House-originated legislation. But the House could still consider bills that originated in the Senate, so Senate fast-tracked its version, held a hearing with no notice and no witnesses, and passed it, then sent it to the House, which approved it as well.
The signature by Abbott, who has a long and strong anti-LGBTQ record, was expected, especially given that he sent this tweet:
LGBTQ rights group Equality Texas denounced the legislation, calling it an “anti-LGBTQ dog whistle.” It does not materially change Texas law, the group emphasized, but it does send the message that homophobic and transphobic views deserve protection.