San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who is advocating for the anti-discrimination ordinance.
(Updated 8.2.13 to include Mayor Julian Castro's comments)
The “gay agenda” is posed to claim more victims as San Antonio proposes to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their anti-discrimination ordinance.
Earlier this month, we covered Senator Ted Cruz's remarks of how gay marriage will lead to the persecutions of pastors and Christians by hate speech laws. Now, according to Fox News, a similar fate awaits Christians in San Antonio as the city is set to include adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their anti-discrimination ordinance.
According to an article published by Fox News host, Todd Starnes — who you can follow here for more “cultural war news” — the proposed anti-discrimination law will “not provide a religious exemption and would effectively prohibit anyone who opposes homosexuality from holding public office or getting a city contract.”
What Fox News fails to realize is that as of June 5, 2013, at least 174 cities and counties already prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment ordinances governing all public and private employers in those jurisdictions.
Cities like San Antonio have had to step up and pass these kinds of anti-discrimination laws only because they may belong to one of the 29 states where gays and lesbians can be fired or evicted at will. Only 21 states plus Washington, D.C. ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, and all but 5 also include protections for gender identity or expression.
Yes, you read that correctly: Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people can be legally fired solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression in more than half the country.
Among those states? Texas. Where your LGBT loved ones can find themselves out of a job and housing simply because of who they are.
Read more on the story and the truth on anti-discrimination laws after the jump.
Findings from the Equality Poll 2013. 69.7% show same support for transgender citizens.
Responding to any future discrimination of Christians, San Antonio Councilman Diego Bernal said, “The city has no interest in interfering with the First Amendment rights or the religious liberties of churches, synagogues and mosques and so forth. So, we won't. We haven't and we won't.”
The ordinance is also being advocated by Mayor Julian Castro. Castro has stated San Antonio is lagging behind Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin, which already have LGBT protections.
“I believe that we cannot have second-class citizens in this city,” Castro said earlier in May. “If you are for this ordinance you are against discrimination. If you are against this ordinance you are for discrimination.”
San Antonio's city council will discuss the changes later this month.
Another San Antonio official, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), attempted to include Texas among the states with anti-discrimination laws through her bill, S.B. 237, during the 83rd regular legislative session. The legislation was co-authored by Senators Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), and Kirk Watson (D-Austin).
The bill received a hearing, but it was left pending in committee. Bills by State Representatives Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) and Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) suffered the same fate.
Organizations such as Equality Texas have been strong in advocating for such workplace laws, and have published numerous reports and findings. According to their recent 2013 poll, over 75 percent of Texas voters support prohibiting employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Close to 70 percent feel the same protections should apply to transgender citizens.
In the year 2013, federal civil rights laws still don't include protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) offers Congress the opportunity to ensure equality in the workplace by protecting LGBT workers from employment discrimination. ENDA has been introduced in every Congress since 1994 except the 109th (2005 – 2007). There is a chance the legislation may gather enough support to pass Congress this year. President Obama supports the legislation.
Conservatives seem to be resisting any steps taken toward achieving equality toward the LGBT community, going so far as to create fear in their base by spreading lies of some supposed future persecution of Christians by anti-discrimination laws.
Funny thing about these laws is that they are meant to protect everyone, including Christians and other religious folks. Their right to hold such religious beliefs are also protected by the First Amendment.
Equality is inevitable. Even in the most hard fought of gay rights issues, marriage, 58% of Americans support marriage equality, numbers that only continue to solidify. A lot of these people are also Christians.
Employment protection laws have always been a goal of the gay civil rights movement, even long before Republicans began spreading fear in their base by saying gays wanted to destroy the sanctity of marriage. Which, ironically, has only eventually led to the great success of marriage equality being achieved in states all throughout the country. Soon, the entire United States.
Love, it seems, always triumphs over fear.