San Antonio, TX, August 28, 2013 – Today, after months of delays, the San Antonio City Council will meet to debate and discuss a controversial proposed ordinance that extends so-called non-discrimination protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals in a way that stifles free speech and tramples on religious liberty. The San Antonio City Council has caused a firestorm of criticism over the past few months by proposing a deeply divisive ordinance that legal scholars believe violates constitutional protections of religious liberty, freedom of speech, and more.
The Council has gone through numerous drafts of the initial proposal in reaction to the local, state, and national criticism and outrage over the extreme proposal by local residents and numerous elected officials. Nearly 25,000 messages have been sent to the Council on this issue and numerous Council meetings have been dominated by opposition to the ordinance. In part, the proposal would essentially deny the free speech and religious liberty rights of anyone who serves on a city board or commission if that person holds traditional views of sexuality and marriage. The Council has already been informed that lawsuits will be filed if this ordinance is passed.
Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz released this statement in regards to the proposed ordinance:
“This proposed ordinance contains some of the most blatant and unprecedented violations of the religious freedom of Texans that I have ever seen. This extreme power grab by the government shocks the conscience and tarnishes the legacy of the city of San Antonio that is so rich in religious heritage. If passed, this ordinance will be used as a weapon to silence people of faith and to punish people who hold a traditional view of marriage and sexuality. If Mayor Castro and Councilman Diego Bernal were looking for a way to divide people in the City of San Antonio, they have found it.”