The city council of San Antonio, Texas, begins debate on a bill Friday that would prohibit anyone who opposes homosexuality from holding public office or getting a city contract, Fox News Radio reports
The proposal would add the phrases “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to San Antonio’s discrimination ordinance, protecting gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. It also includes military veterans.
But the measure would not add a religious exemption, which could affect Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin from serving on the city council, according to Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes.
The ordinance reads: “No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds … [they have] engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or disability.”
“It’s extremely dangerous. This is a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution and the San Antonio City Council looks like a bunch of anti-Christian activists,” Ken Klukowski, of the Family Research Council, told Starnes.
“If it’s passed, any person who has either expressed any belief in favor of traditional marriage or in terms of Judeo-Christian morality regarding sexuality in general, verbally or in writing, could be barred from participating in public life on that city council.”
But Mayor Julian Castro, who is in favor of the changes, told The San Antonio Express News:
“To say that you agree with this ordinance is to say that you do not believe that someone who is gay or lesbian ought to be discriminated against in the same way that an African American or a Hispanic or a woman shouldn’t be discriminated against.”
There also have been accusations that the inclusion of veterans in the language of the proposal is a shrewd political move to get it passed.
The flap has attracted national attention and was the subject of a scathing editorial in The Washington Times
“Such bigots, for bigots is what they are, have no qualms about using such power as they have to bully anyone who holds views rooted in tradition or religion,” the Times editorial said.
"You might have to be careful calling a male person a 'man' if San Antonio actually enacts such malignant drivel," the editorial said.
It also likened those pushing the proposal to the plot in George Orwell’s futuristic, sci-fi classic “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” in which a ruthless government persecutes individualism.
“George Orwell is alive and hiding in Texas,” the Times said.
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