'Save Chick-fil-A' bill passed by Texas House

The controversial "Save Chick-fil-A" bill has been approved by the Texas House after being passed last week by the state Senate.

On May 20, the divisive Senate Bill 1978, as it is formally known, was passed with a 79-62 vote in the House, NBC News reports, advancing from a 19-12 vote in the Senate last Thursday.

"The bill as filed ensures religious beliefs are protected from discrimination. It's about the First Amendment and freedom of speech, freedom of religion — those uniquely American rights," bill author Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, said of the legislation, as per the Dallas Morning News.

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The policy would prevent the government from penalizing businesses for exercising their religious rights, a conversation that began after Chick-fil-A was barred from opening a location at the San Antonio Airport.

The San Antonio city council vote was decided after it was revealed that the fast-food chain donated millions in 2017 to Christian organizations that advocacy groups have labeled as discriminatory toward the LGBTQ community.

Critics of the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, meanwhile, are skeptical of the policy’s potential impact.

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"The bill does nothing but target the LGBT community," Sen. Borris Miles, D-Houston, told the Morning News last week. "It sends the wrong message that Texas discriminates, plain and simple."

Reps in the House have until May 27 to make a decision on the initiative, Delish reports.

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When contacted for comment, Chick-fil-A, Inc. offered Fox News the following statement on the story:

“Chick-fil-A was not involved with, nor did we organize any events related to, this bill in any way. We are a restaurant company focused on food and hospitality for all, and we have no social or political stance. We are grateful for all our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. We welcome and embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Fox News’ Anna Hopkins contributed to this report.