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Texas: San Antonio city council passes ordinance protecting LGBT people

City's mayor says measure ensures there'll be 'no second-class citizens'

San Antonio city council passes anti-discrimination ordinance. Credit: buzzfeed.com

By a vote of eight to three, San Antonio’s city council approved an ordinance Sept 5 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the Human Rights Campaign says in a release.

The new protections were added to ordinances governing city employment, contracting, housing and public accommodations, the release notes. Council also added protections for veterans.

The city’s mayor, Julian Castro, says the ordinance will ensure there are “no second-class citizens in San Antonio.”

“The San Antonio City Council did the right thing today in updating their ordinances to reflect the basic value that all city residents deserve to be treated equally under the law,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin says. “Mayor Julian Castro’s support and leadership on getting this done shows his real commitment to making San Antonio a world-class city where all citizens are treated with dignity and respect.

“Today’s vote is a victory, but the attacks we saw from our opposition in the run-up to this — particularly the transphobic messaging — remind us of the ruthless tactics they use to promote discrimination against LGBT people,” Griffin observed.

According to BuzzFeed, those who opposed the measure contended that it violated “their religious freedom and their right to speak out against a way of life that went against their religious views and the morals of their faith.”

More than 1,200 people voiced their opinions about the measure to the city council over a two-week period, with about 700 people signing up to speak to the city leaders at the “Citizens to be Heard” session in City Hall, BuzzFeed notes.

In the end, the ordinance was passed to loud cheers from those clad in red in council chambers, while there was silence from the contingent in blue.