After two days of hearings and a month of shock after the homophobic and transphobic comments of a city councilwoman, minutes ago the San Antonio City Council passed a non-discrimination ordinance, by an 8-3 vote. Last night and this morning, Texas citizens told city council members why they supported or opposed the bill that would protect LGBT people and veterans from discrimination.
“A person chooses their sexual lifestyle, just like a person chooses to look at pornography or practice pedophilia,” one anti-LGBT commenter told the council.
Another claimed that gay people would be afforded “super rights” if the bill passed.
And still another claimed the “ordinance was designed to discriminate against the faith community.”
One actually told the council members they had no choice in their age, race, nationality, but they had a choice in their sexual orientation. Another claimed that “homosexual behavior” is an “abomination.”
And others claimed LGBT people and their supporters are not true Catholics.
All false statements.
Sadly, the vitriol against transgender people was in full force. One claimed that little girls will be scared when they see transgender people in bathrooms, and will have their innocence taken away from them.
But clearly, including by photos taken inside the chamber, there were many more who support equality. Those in red support the bill, those in blue oppose it.
“My God does not support hate. God does not support hate, it’s human beings that support hate,” one said.
Another reminded the council that religion has been used to persecute African-Americans and Jewish people throughout history.
As the vote approached, Councilman Lopez introduced an amendment to remove the veterans portion from the bill, to allow council members to vote for it separately.
This ordinance, unlike many others, garnered national attention, in part thanks to San Antonio City Councilwoman Elisa Chan, whose secretly-recorded homophobic and transphobic comments were published last month. At the vote today she announced, “We have shattered the trust of a community.”
San Antonio’s Current has an excellent timeline, going back to 1998, of San Antonio’s efforts to pass a non-discrimination ordinance.
Image, top, by GetEQUAL Texas, via Twitter
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