FRC Praises Anti-Gay Activists After Yesterday’s Defeat in San Antonio
In spite of yesterday's move by lawmakers in San Antonio, Texas, approving a highly debated ordinance granting protections to the city's LGBT community, the president of the ultra conservative and anti-gay Family Research Council issued a statement Thursday, dismissing defeat while praising the fundamentalist Christian activists who stood firmly against the measure.
"This ordinance is a vicious attack on Christians that could be the first step to banning believers from local boards and commissions," FRC President Tony Perkins said. "Not only does the measure contradict Texas's Constitution (which outlaws religious tests), it's a gross infringement on free speech for people serving in council-appointed positions. The ordinance would also bar anyone who would exercise their beliefs in natural marriage or biblical sexuality from doing business with the city."
In the statement, Perkins lauds conservative Texas leaders, including Senator Ted Cruz and state Attorney General Greg Abbott for opposing the measure and standing against "the city council's contempt for free speech and religious freedom."
"We can all be encouraged that leaders like Sen. Cruz, Greg Abbott, and a myriad of churches are stepping up to challenge the city's lawlessness," Perkins added. "We fully expect that this anti-Christian ordinance will be a magnet for lawsuits and will ultimately be struck down for violating the First Amendment rights of San Antonio residents."
On Thursday San Antonio's City Council adopted anti-bias protections for the LGBT community in an 8-3 vote, despite the disapproval of top Texas Republicans and conservative religious leaders, the Associated Press reported. Democratic Mayor Julian Castro, a top surrogate of President Obama, championed the measure and said the ordinance was long overdue.
Nearly 180 other cities in the U.S. have nondiscrimination ordinances that protect LGBT people, the Human Rights Campaign reports.
GetEQUAL, a national LGBT rights group, applauded the City Council's vote in a statement.
"Texas is on the front lines of a national movement for civil rights and social progress," Heather Cronk, co-director of GetEQUAL, said. "From immigration to LGBT equality to reproductive justice, all eyes are on Texas. As a native Texan, I'm proud that GetEQUAL Texas has put a stake in the ground there, ensuring that the Lone Star State will become the home of an intersectional movement for justice. Though the work ahead of us continues, today I'm proud of the innumerable LGBT and allied Texans who came forward, shared their stories, and created an unceasing drumbeat for justice."