No aviation concerns to investigate at the FAA, it seems. Instead the whines of a hard-right wing anti-LGBTQ "religious freedom" organization drive the workload.
May 29, 2019

I'll bet you thought the FAA was hard at work doing some things to keep us safer in the skies, didn't you? Guess again.

Today's little FAA project has nothing to do with those things. Apparently the thing most threatening to air travelers absence of Chick-fil-A concessions in some airports, according to a NBC News report.

The FAA is investigating decisions to exclude Chick-fil-A from airport concession contracts in San Antonio, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, over opposition to the fast-food chain owners' record on LGBTQ issues.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the FAA told San Antonio officials Friday it is investigating complaints the city-owned airport discriminated "against a private company due to the expression of the owner's religious beliefs."

"FAA’s Office of Civil Rights has notified the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) that it has opened investigations into these complaints," the agency wrote in a statement to NBC News. "The FAA notes that federal requirements prohibit airport operators from excluding persons on the basis of religious creed from participating in airport activities that receive or benefit from FAA grant funding."

All of this comes from a complaint of the First Liberty Institute -- a hard right group dedicated to "religious freedom." Can I say that I seriously doubt this group would give a rat's ass if Chick-fil-A was frozen out for discriminatory practices against Muslims, for example? Yeah. My guess is that they're just setting up a new Supreme Court case with the Trump administration's little pander to hard right billionaire-funded groups.

The First Liberty Institute is connected to the Texas Public Policy Institute via Tim Dunn, a Texas oil and gas billionaire, ardent supporter of Ted Cruz, and funder of enterprises intended to squash LGBTQ and women's rights whenever possible.

I'm pretty sure there are better things to do than investigate whether an artery-clogging fried chicken enterprise isn't selling their crappy chicken in some airports, but Trump is always ready to pander to the "Christian" right, especially when it's backed by Billionaire Bucks.

I expect we will either see this in the Supreme Court or else these airports will bow to the threat.

(h/t Shelley Powers via Twitter)

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