Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed what was dubbed the essentially anti-LGBTQ "Save Chick-fil-A" bill into law. If it weren’t enough that Abbott signed the bill over a month ago, late last week he thumbed his nose at LGBTQ people even more and participated in a TV ceremony celebrating the bill’s signing while he and his team were surrounded by Chick-fil-A food and beverages. He then tweeted the moment out to his supporters.
“No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners donate to a church, the Salvation Army, or other religious organization,” Abbott said.
“No business should lose a government contract because of their religious beliefs. The save Chick-fil-A legislation that I’m about to sign is a victory for religious freedom in Texas.”
Abbott's making a show of supporting anti-LGBTQ businesses mirrors a celebration Fox & Friends cohosts enjoyed after the bill's signing where they gleefully stuffed themselves with fried Chick-fil-A food on air.
There had been a spate of pushback to Chick-fil-A stores opening in airports and on college campuses across the country, which spurred the bill Abbott signed during Pride Month. 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 fast-food chain has recently been under fire over tax returns revealing that the company, whose CEO, Dan Cathy, is openly antigay, has continued to contribute money to anti-LGBTQ organizations in spite of pushback and boycotts.
Responding to revelations that Chick-fil-A continued to donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations after it tried to rehabilitate its image in light of boycotts over Cathy’s anti-equality statements in 2012, the company asserted that the media was painting “an inaccurate narrative about our brand.”
But there’s no glossing over the findings that Chick-fil-A's charitable arm gave $1.8 million to three anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2017, including the Salvation Army. It also donated to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which enforces a "sexual purity" policy that bars "homosexual acts." Finally, it donated to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which provides housing for troubled youth and "teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong" and that same-sex marriage is a "rage against Jesus Christ and his values."