San Antonio City Council appears poised to plow ahead with a vote on that gay and lesbian non discrimination ordinance at its regular meeting tomorrow, despite concerns raised by opponents that the law is alarmingly vague and will be through out in court, 1200 WOAI news reports.
One more opportunity for supporters and opponents of the law to speak out is set to take place tonight at 6 PM at City Hall. People who want to speak must sign up in advance starting at 8AM today.
The City stresses that council will not discuss the proposal at today's work session.
Tomorrow, council is poised to vote, and it clearly has more than the six votes needed for passage.
But opponents like Councilwomen Elisa Chan say the current proposal 'lacks clarity' and she says council is 'more interested in rubber stamping bad law' than with making 'good public policy.'
Chan cited one example.
"According to the City Attorney, business owners can deny services based on disagreement of messages, but cannot deny services based on religious and personal objection," she says. "However, for many small businesses, a message is not part of the product or service delivered. In service industries, like catering and photography, for example, it would be deemed in violation of this ordinance if they refused to serve members of the LGBT community for religious or personal reasons."
The rush of council to get this proposal passed appears to be tied to crumbling support for it my some members of the LGBT community. After a bizarre discussion of bathroom usage at last week's work session, several transgendered individuals said they were considering yanking their support because they will not be allowed to use the restroom of the sex 'they are becoming' under the current proposal.
Allen Parker, who heads the conservative Justice Foundation, says the proposal is an expensive lawsuit waiting to happen.
"It fails to include a clear and complete restroom protection clause that would make it not apply to gender specific facilities," Parker said. "Even the amendment is unclear because it used the term 'opposite sex,' but redefines sex to include gender identity."
Attorney General Greg Abbott appears to agree. He says the proposal as written violates the Texas Constitution.
"While we all agree on the sentiment that no one should be discriminated against, it is important to point out that at the end of the day, it is the letter of the law that will ultimately govern our citizens," Chan said. "Any ambiguity in the ordinance, again, can open our city and its citizens to future lawsuits and unintended consequences."