Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed what many are calling the “Save Chick-fil-A’ bill into law on Monday which would provide protections for persons involved in religious organizations or activities.
Senate Bill 1978 came about after Chick-fil-A continued to face discrimination in the state, namely after the city council of San Antonio banned the fast-food chain from being a vendor at the San Antonio International Airport.
Opponents to the bill — now law — and Chick-fil-A claim the restaurant is involved in “anti-LGBTQ behavior” by donating to organizations that don’t favor gay marriage and believe the law will negatively affect LGBT Texans.
"The message poisons this state," Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, told Dallas News. "It sends a message that Texas is not open and welcoming to all. It puts Texas on the wrong side of history."
"We can't discriminate against one in order to protect the other," Rep. Mary Gonzalez, D-Clint, who is openly gay, said ironically. "The scariest part of this bill ... is the individuals who will take this bill and use your vote for this bill to perpetuate hate."
But Fort Worth GOP Rep. Matt Krause, the House sponsor, stepped in to defend the bill, saying it was not a “vehicle to discriminate” but a way to protect religious Texans.
"What we want to make sure is if you donate to the Salvation Army, you won't be labeled as a bigot," Krause said Monday during the House's initial debate, according to Dallas News.
The outlet also reports:
He [Krause] said Chick-fil-A was unfairly labeled as anti-LGBT because of its donations to organizations like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which also receive donations from companies such as Walmart and Home Depot.
The law will take effect starting Sept. 1.