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If San Antonio Ordinance Passes, Critics of Homosexuality Need Not Apply
Shannon Quick
( ) – The San Antonio City Council is considering an ordinance that
would ban anyone who speaks out against homosexuality based on their moral purview
from being hired as a city employee or government contractor, including businesses
owned by Christians.
The ordinance seeks to amend
San Antonio’s Non-Discrimination Policy, which is based on Title VI of the Civil Rights
Voting Act of 1964.
According to the proposed ordinance: “No person shall be appointed to a position if the
City Council finds that such a person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in
discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any persons, group or
organization on the basis of race, color, religion,, national origin, sex, sexual orientation,
gender identity, veteran status, age or disability,” the proposed ordinance states.
“Violation of this standard shall be considered malfeasance in office, and the City
Council shall be authorized to take action as provided by law to remove the offending
person from office,” the ordinance states.
Many members of the community have spoken out against its passage. At a June 5th City
Council meeting, citizens expressed four major concerns during an open public comment
. Http://
The proposed ordinance is a direct violation of the First Amendment’s protection
of an individual’s freedom of speech and religion.
By not proving a compelling need for its introduction, the proposed ordinance is
in direct violation of the Texas Religious Freedom Act
The proposed ordinance sets up a de facto religious test to participate in city
government which also violates Art. 1 Sec. 4 of the Texas Constitution
prohibiting such a test for involvement in city government.
The proposed ordinance does not offer any relief for religious purposes. Instead it
creates the opportunity for council members to act unlawfully.
Daniel Petri, a concerned San Antonio citizen, provided a handout which noted that small
businesses would suffer negatively if he proposed ordinance is passed as many of these
businesses are owned by Christians.
Mike Knuffke stated that religious freedoms and liberties would be lost and provided
examples of how faith-based organizations were forced to cut services once similar
policies were adopted by the local government.
Local pastors have also come together to speak out against the proposed ordinance for
fear of religious persecution.
Essentially, it’s a religious test,” Pastor Steve Branson of Village Parkway Baptist
Church said. “If I don’t buy into the city’s religious views of life, then I’m not allowed to
be a part of the city anymore — business or service,” he said in an interview with Texas
Values, a public policy group.
The ordinance defines gender identity as “a gender-related identity, appearance,
expression or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at
birth.” It also defines sexual orientation as “an individual’s real or perceived orientation
as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual.”