San Antonio City Council extends anti-bias protections to gays over conservative protests

exministriesError of Man, LGBT9 Comments

 

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By San Antonio | Associate Press 

San Antonio’s leaders on Thursday approved anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents, despite 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.

San Antonio joins nearly 180 other U.S. cities that have nondiscrimination ordinances that prohibit bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

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 than 700 people registered to speak Wednesday during a marathon session of citizen testimony that stretched past midnight. Just a few hours later, 100 people signed up Thursday morning to get in a final word before the vote.

Dee Villarubia, 67, said she is a former Air Force officer whose landlord at a San Antonio apartment evicted her two years ago because she is gay.

“When I say the pledge of allegiance, I say ‘justice for some’ because there’s an asterisk that means not me,” Villarubia said. “Today, I would take that asterisk away and finally say ‘justice for all.'”

The local measure roiled conservatives nationwide and was opposed by big-name Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Abbott, a Republican who is seeking the governor’s office, predicted a lawsuit over religious freedoms, though he has not said the state will challenge the ordinance.

Attention intensified after City Councilwoman Elisa Chan was caught on tape calling homosexuality “disgusting” and arguing that gays should not be allowed to adopt. Chan has defended her comments.

 

“Just because I disagree with the lifestyle of the LGBT community doesn’t mean I dislike them,” Chan said before the vote. “Similarly, just because one opposes this ordinance, does not mean one is for discrimination.”

 

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.

Opponents say the ordinance would stifle religious expression and does not have the support of most of the city’s residents.

“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.”

One side of the room would erupt in cheers or give a standing ovation depending on the remarks toward the 11-member council. Some turned around to address their opponents in the audience directly.

“My parents and my grandparents rode the back of the bus,” said Sylvia Villarreal, who urged the council to vote no. “And I say shame on them for comparing this to civil rights.”

The measure passed by the council amends protections already in place for discrimination based on race or gender.

Victories for gay rights advocates have been elusive in the Republican-controlled Texas Capitol. They’ve had more success on a local level: Houston has a lesbian mayor, and Austin offers health benefits for same-sex couples. Dallas, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth and El Paso are among the Texas cities that already have expanded anti-bias ordinances.

Conservative pushback in San Antonio was notable coming on the turf of Castro, a rising star who delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention last year. Castro has contended that San Antonio embraces political values that he says are spreading statewide and will eventually turn Texas blue.

 

9 Comments on “San Antonio City Council extends anti-bias protections to gays over conservative protests”

  1. Min. Robert Murrell

    These peole voting this stuff in do not realize the consequences. They forget that it may affect their own children and future descendents. With laws in place to protect the LGBT agenda, the church needs to step up and teach like it should. We’ve been in chill mode way too long. I wish all churches believed what EX Mnistries taught. We’d all be in a better position. We’re too busy fightin over denominationalism, which be the way is not scrtptural at all. Folks don’t read their bibles, but are quick to follw men’s tradition. The message against sin has been replaced with ecumenical lullabys. Almost no one preaches God’s created order. I just pray that the Lord would continue to use me to preach against sin and declare that we must all be in righteous living according to the Will of God.

  2. Elder T.R..Westbrook Sr

    What is equal about your sexually? Either you are male or female, this has nothing to do with equal rights, because we all have basic human rights, and being lgbt does not equal with race, creed or color. GOD IS UPSET!!

  3. Joel

    This is sick.the cup of America’s judgement runs over.these homos getting these rights mark the end of this great civilazation.we r going to have to start over.

  4. ivan

    Even so, come Lord Jesus!!! Save & sanctify us the more! Help purify us in a world tainted & infiltrated with sin! Endow us with POWER & help us stand on Your Word uncompromisingly in truth & love. Help us remain as wheat, knowing that there are tares around us. A separation is coming; therefore, if theres ANYTHING in me (us) thats not like You, take it out!! Holiness or hell!!! 2nd Chronicles 7:14. Continue to bless Pastor Craig & the ministry staff at ex ministries with even the more HOLY BOLDNESS for without YOU we can do nothing!

  5. Anthony

    i don’t see it as a victory for the gay community, there is one council that stands against such behavior and that is the council of God. and they can never defeat him. when all is said and done and they don’t come to that place of repentance, woe unto them. because the judgement of God is not speedily executed, men have set they hearts to do wickedness. Father God would rather mercy than judgement , but woe unto them that take his kindness for weakness.

  6. Iris .

    In the book of Malachi, God spoke most forcefully, and first, to the leaders of Israel, declaring that they had been leading the people away from the truth. Hmmmm, i guess there really IS nothing new under the sun.

    For shame that we, the Body of Christ, remains silent on the things that God was NOT silent on, all because we are afraid to suffer. We haven’t seen suffering yet. But those who are the True Church are NOT afraid to sacrifice our whole selves for the Truth that is found only in the Word of God. Keep preaching and teaching, you True Believers, for your reward will be great :-) and God will be pleased.

  7. Patrick C. Williams

    Thank the Lord for you EX-Ministries! I encourage you to keep reproving the sin that is so prevalent in our churches & society! There are those of us who whole-heartedly support you, for we love the truth!! Saints don’t be discouraged, continue to read your bibles & be steadfast, unmoveable, always abiding in the work of the Lord! The Word says it will be like this in the last days! We must continue to stand up & speak out against the sin, lies, etc. Again, May the Lord continue to bless you brother Tetaun and the ministry as well…. I’m claiming San Antonio for the Lord!!!!! Jesus will give us that mountain!!!!!!

  8. Rene

    What do we expect was going to happen as a result of the Civil Rights Movement which should have never occurred. We should have never joined the mainstream society and just kept to ourselves like the Chinese, Indians, Arabs, ( instert nationality) do when they come and live here. Of course they’re going to liken they’re movement to the Civil Rights Movement. It’s like saying you have to be a deranged freak whose mentally psychotic for you to even like blacks or even accept yourself as a black individual because being a descendant of Cush is equivalent to being the sons and daughters of Satan. When they compare their fake movement to ours it’s like calling us a nigger all over again just in a different fashion ( even most homosexuals don’t even like blacks in this society). Historically homosexuals have ran and controlled every society on earth and they’ve ran them all into the ground. We should be the ones petitioning for rights to be protected from them because homosexuals have had a niche for killing BLATANT HETEROSEXUALS. Just look at Rome and her descendant the Catholic Church. Since they’re going to win (the bible says so) we should be prepared to be fired form our jobs, harassed ,raped, framed, imprisoned and violently killed. Just look at the Arab countries. Especially the incident where the Christian girl was framed for tearing out parts of the Quran and the guy still got off because of lack of evidence. We’re fighting a losing battle but vengeance will be our when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back. Can’t wait for that.

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