Texas Senate takes up 'Save Chick-fil-A' bill

Texas Senate takes up 'Save Chick-fil-A' bill
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A controversial bill intended to prevent the government from penalizing a person or business for actions tied to their religious belief has been quietly advanced in the Texas Senate, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The proposal, often referred to as as the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill, failed to clear the Texas House last week, but was introduced to the Senate by state Sen. Bryan Hughes (R), according to the newspaper.

Hughes said the bill would protect religious beliefs while preventing the targeting of companies such as Chick-fil-A, which was banned from San Antonio's airport in Texas after reports of donations made to anti-LGBT causes by a charity arm of the fast-food chain.

"We've heard disturbing stories about folks being punished just because they choose to contribute to a religious organization that shares their views or values," Hughes said, according to the Dallas News.

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But critics of the bill say it would support anti-gay discrimination.

The Texas Freedom Network, a group that supports religious freedom, slammed how Texas legislators were trying to get the bill passed through the state Senate.

"Ramming this bill through doesn't change the fact that the majority of Texans oppose laws that allow the use of religion to hurt people simply because of who they are or whom they love," Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said in a statement on Monday.

The House version of the bill was introduced by Republican state Rep. Matt Krause. But last week, state Rep. Julie Johnson — who is a member of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus — effectively killed the House bill using a procedural maneuver.