Diversity apparently trumps religious beliefs.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio’s leaders on Thursday approved anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents, over the disapproval of top Texas Republicans and religious conservatives who packed a City Council hearing and occasionally shamed supporters for comparing the issue to the civil rights movement.
The 8-3 City Council vote in favor of the ordinance was a victory for gay rights advocates and for Democratic Mayor Julian Castro, a top surrogate of President Barack Obama. Castro has called the ordinance overdue in the nation’s seventh-largest city, where there is a stronger current of traditionalism and conservatism than other major Texas cities that already have similar gay rights protections.
Supporters in red shirts and opponents in blue sat on opposite sides of the ornate council chamber Thursday. Church leaders vowed petitions to recall council members, and the shouts of protesters outside City Hall often carried through the stone walls of the century-old building.
More on the ordinance from an earlier post via OneNewsNow:
The San Antonio City Council is doing some housecleaning to combine all of its anti-discrimination rules and ordinances into one. The consolidated ordinance states a desire to adopt a “comprehensive and expanded non-discrimination policy with revisions to outdated terminology.”
According to Pastor Charles Flowers of Faith Outreach International, the city leaders want to add two categories to the policy: sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The ordinance also says that if you have at any point demonstrated a bias – without defining what a bias is or who will determine whether or not one has been exercised – that you cannot get a city contract,” he tells OneNewsNow. “Neither can any of your subcontractors [who have demonstrated a bias] sign on to the contract.”
Moreover, according to a draft of the revised policy, no one who has spoken out against homosexuality or the transgender lifestyle can run for city council or be appointed to a board. Flowers says the Arizona-based legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom has taken a look at the ordinance.
“They said they’ve never seen this kind of language in any other ordinance in any other city that they’ve dealt with,” the pastor shares. “It is unprecedentedly wrong – and of course the citizens of San Antonio must stop it.”