Texas AG predicts San Antonio ordinance barring bias against gays, lesbians will result in legal fight - New York News

Texas AG predicts San Antonio ordinance barring bias against gays, lesbians will result in legal fight

Updated:

By: Matthew Brown, Deseret News

Texas Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott said San Antonio's far-reaching nondiscrimination ordinance violates free speech rights and will likely be challenged in court.

San Antonio joined nearly 180 other U.S. cities that have ordinances prohibiting bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, The Associated Press reported, when the city council voted 8-3 on Thursday to add lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to the city's nondiscrimination code.

But the San Antonio ordinance goes further than those in other cities by preventing appointees and members of city boards and commissions from engaging in bias “by word or deed.” Abbott says that violates provisions protecting freedom of speech and religion in both the Texas and U.S. constitutions, according to The Texas Tribune.

He said speaking out in favor of upholding Texas constitutional provisions barring same-sex marriage could prevent someone from holding office, working for or contracting with the city.

“And so if someone says we're going to stand on the (state marriage) law, they would be guilty of violating that San Antonio ordinance. That's just nonsensical and another reason why I think the San Antonio ordinance would be subject to a legal challenge,'' Abbott said.

But Abbott wouldn't say if the state would sue the city over the ordinance.

The San Antonio law has pitted conservatives and liberals statewide against each other as well as leaders in the city's religious and LGBT communities. The debate captured national attention when the San Antonio Express-News published a secretly recorded meeting where Councilwoman Elisa Chan called gays "disgusting" and said they shouldn't be allowed to adopt children.

She defended her views before casting her vote Thursday.

“Over the course of this debate, tolerance has separated itself from understanding and has become a dictate to agree. I have not heard a single person who said he or she agrees to any form of discrimination,” Chan said. “Just because I disagree with the lifestyle choices of the LGBT community doesn't mean that I dislike them.”

According the AP report, San Antonio City Attorney Michael Bernard told the council the ordinance would apply to most city contracts and contractors. It prohibits council members from discriminating in their official capacity and forbids workers in public accommodation jobs, such as at restaurants or hotels, from refusing to serve customers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

But opponents say the ordinance - which takes effect immediately - would also stifle religious expression of those whose faith teaches same-sex relations are a sin and that it does not have the support of most of the city's residents, according the the AP.

"The problem I have is that you criminalize us if we speak our faith," said Marc Longoria, 42, a pastor at My Father’s House Church. "We are Christians all the time. We don’t have an on and off switch."


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New York's daring Instagrammers

    New York's daring Instagrammers

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:03 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:03:35 GMT
    Pull out your smartphone on any given day, tap on Instagram and you'll find a lot of selfies. But while the rest of us clog our feeds with our best pouty faces, a group of photographers scales and then hangs off bridges and buildings in a contest to produce the most daring photograph in New York City.
    Pull out your smartphone on any given day, tap on Instagram and you'll find a lot of selfies. But while the rest of us clog our feeds with our best pouty faces, a group of photographers scales and then hangs off bridges and buildings in a contest to produce the most daring photograph in New York City.
  • Designer clothes at giant thrift shop in NJ

    Designer clothes at giant thrift shop in NJ

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:57:04 GMT
    Like most soon-to-be third graders, Sonja knows what she's looking for when it comes to back-to-school shopping. For kids trying to be fashionable -- and parents looking to keep it affordable -- there's the Ocean County Hunger Relief Warehouse in Toms River, New Jersey. It's basically a huge thrift shop.
    Like most soon-to-be third graders, Sonja knows what she's looking for when it comes to back-to-school shopping. For kids trying to be fashionable -- and parents looking to keep it affordable -- there's the Ocean County Hunger Relief Warehouse in Toms River, New Jersey. It's basically a huge thrift shop.
  • Snow leopard cubs on display at Bronx Zoo

    Snow leopard cubs on display at Bronx Zoo

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:55 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:55:28 GMT
    Two snow leopard cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in the spring are now on display in the Himalayan Highlands exhibit with their mother, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced. The male cubs were born May 6 to first-time parents, the WCS said. The Bronx Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program with other zoos around the country to prevent inbreeding and make sure zoo animals are genetically viable.
    Two snow leopard cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in the spring are now on display in the Himalayan Highlands exhibit with their mother, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced. The male cubs were born May 6 to first-time parents, the WCS said. The Bronx Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program with other zoos around the country to prevent inbreeding and make sure zoo animals are genetically viable.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices