San Antonio, TX, September 5, 2013 – Today, after weeks of strong opposition, the San Antonio City Council voted 8-3 to pass a controversial ordinance that extends so-called non-discrimination protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. Many from the legal, business, and faith communities in San Antonio believe the proposed ordinance restricts free speech and religious liberty. Numerous legal groups have promised to challenge the ordinance as unconstitutional and numerous elected officials, including Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and others have raised similar concerns.
Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz released the following statement in response to the vote:
“Today a majority of the San Antonio City Council voted to approve a radical ordinance that a majority of the people of San Antonio oppose, even adding new language at the last minute. This ordinance will be used as a weapon against people of faith and family values just as other laws have been used in other states. The ordinance lacks transparency, lacks evidence of a real need, and is plagued with major constitutional concerns. The question now is when will the first legal challenge begin and what will the cost be to taxpayers at the end of the litigation that will certainly come.”
Every public meeting (5) on the ordinance resulted in overwhelming opposition to the ordinance, with meetings that have gone late into the night. In addition, over 11,000 email messages have been sent from the San Antonio area to City Council members in opposition to the proposed ordinance. Texas Values has attended the San Antonio City Council meetings and has provided legal and policy analysis, and guidance to San Antonio residents and to local faith community leaders.