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As San Antonio Considers LGBT Non-Discrimination, Hundreds 'Pray' In Protest

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The San Antonio City Council is set to announce soon whether it will add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the city's existing nondiscrimination ordinance. That consideration was what drew hundreds of black and Latino protesters outside of City Hall yesterday. The demonstration, by ministers as well as members of their congregations, was organized to protest more than just the inclusion of LGBT rights. With the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by Martin Luther King, Jr and company, it was also to protest the comparison of LGBT rights with the rights of racial minorities. 

PrayingWhile we love the people involved, we cannot allow their agenda to stain the fabric, the tapestry, of the civil rights movement,” said the Rev. Charles Flowers, an African American minister and early opponent of the city's nondiscrimination expansion. According to MySanAntonio.com, Flowers believes the two movements to be separate because sexual orientation and gender identity are matters of choice, not genetics. His sentiment was echoed by other members of the Baptist Ministers' Union of San Antonio and Vicinity and the Community of Churches for Social Action, both of whom had representatives present yesterday on behalf of more than 110 different congregations citywide. Others were simply concerned that the wording of the ordinance was too vague. Rev. Paul Stevens, pastor of New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church told the press that:

“We don't feel the document is clear enough to exclude churches to be true to the Word of God. The African-American church is very conservative when it comes to the Word of God. I think the city has underestimated how the church feels.”

SA City CouncilCity Council members Diego Bernal, the proposal's author, and Ivy Taylor met with leaders of both church groups to discuss the wording of the ordinance, although no changes were made as a result. Bernal told members of the press that he is open to any necessary fine-tuning of the ordinance. However, he believes the existing one does nothing to interfere with freedom of speech or religious expression. According to MySanAntonio.com, the ordinance only covers "city contracts, business dealings and service on city boards and commissions."

Nettie Hinton, a local member of the NAACP, finds the sudden distinctions between civil rights movements to be baffling:

“We have had gay people in our community for years, and they were not castigated. That was because the greater danger of a gay man then was not his gayness. It was his blackness. And the community rallied around to protect them from the unreligious scourge of the aftermath of slavery. Why all of a sudden are we taking offense that we have gay people in our midst?”

ProtestThe City Council is currently hearing public comments regarding the new proposed ordinance. Reportedly, City Hall has been so overcrowded that discussion of the ordinance is also being broadcast in two overflow rooms, which still did not prove to be enough:

"The subject has been polarizing, prompting shouting between groups, loud applause at times and at other times, cries of 'liar!' The line of people wanting a seat spilled out into the grounds. Groups held hands and prayed. Others chanted. Some just watched."

You may recognize the San Antonio City Council as the stomping ground of Elisa Chan, the councilwoman who called gay people "disgusting" before refusing to apologize for her bigoted comments. 

The Council's final vote is currently scheduled for Tuesday, September 5th, and the measure is expected to pass. 

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Comments

  1. I love how they're holding up their hands as if to aim their magical Sky-Fairy powers. "Mecha-Lecha-Hi, Mecha Hiney Ho!" That or a Nazi seig heil, which is what it actually looks like.

    Posted by: Caliban | Aug 29, 2013 10:55:20 AM


  2. I love how a human being knows the "word of God"...what is that; something another human being wrote about through his perceptions and experiences (mostly derived from heat stroke, living in the desert and all)? It's all circular logic and self-fulfilling wishful thinking. Religion is a spoiled child...always wanting more than anyone else and being irresponsible and selfish. There are more important rights than religion.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Aug 29, 2013 10:59:38 AM


  3. "...While we love the people involved, we cannot allow their agenda to stain the fabric, the tapestry, of the civil rights movement...”

    I love how this guy speaks of 'we' as if all African-Americans feel the same way. And yet I'm sure he'd be pissed if he was lumped together with other black people if the association was a negative one.

    Well, fuckface, you can't have it both ways. If you declare yourself to be part of a colony creature, you don't get to do it only on terms that flatter you.

    Posted by: Yeek | Aug 29, 2013 11:09:13 AM


  4. "... it was also to protest the comparison of LGBT rights with the rights of racial minorities."

    Never mind the fact that it was the blood and sweat of an openly gay man -- Bayard Rustin -- which made it possible for Dr. King to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and share his dream. Never mind the fact it was Rustin himself who drew that comparison, and that Coretta Scott King affirmed that Dr. King himself saw the struggle for racial equality and the struggle for gay rights to have strong parallels.

    "Flowers believes the two movements to be separate because sexual orientation and gender identity are matters of choice, not genetics."

    Orientation and identity are far less matters of choice than, say, political views or religion. So according to his 'reasoning'....

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Aug 29, 2013 11:09:17 AM


  5. "... I think the city has underestimated how the church feels.”

    No, the city must not even consider how the chuch feels.

    Posted by: David | Aug 29, 2013 11:23:47 AM


  6. The God-botherers teaching their children that our homosexual fellow citizens are an abomination and a perversion of nature based upon the rantings of illiterate Bronze Age bedouin is about as hateful as it can get. Church leaders fostering homophobic attitudes in children have no principles and engender hate-crimes.
    A belief however sincerely held does not over-ride other peoples rights.
    And peer reviewed ethical science would indicate that gender and sexual orientation are just as innate as the color of your eyes or the shade of your skin. Non of them are a choice, though a belief in religion most certainly is!

    Posted by: renovato | Aug 29, 2013 11:30:35 AM


  7. I just love the signs about 'No special rights", that is correct no special rights just EQUAL rights.

    If we wanted special rights we would be asking to be placed above others with more protection than others, nope we just want the same.

    And as a Christian I am revolted by those who constantly public demonstrations of prayer, it a personal and private matter not a public specticle.

    Posted by: Nate | Aug 29, 2013 11:32:32 AM


  8. isn't there something against praying in public in the bible?....couldn't they just pray themselves away?...like far, far away....

    Posted by: jaja | Aug 29, 2013 11:46:01 AM


  9. First of all since we have a separation of church and state - teach your biblical morals (if you even know them) at home or the pulpit where it belongs. Otherwise - if you want biblical rights - we can have slaves, multiple wives, and so much more or less - no women speaking in public, no makeup, tattoos, women's pant suits? take your pick ... oh that's right you already do!!

    Special rights? There are no special rights here, seems we always have to legislate the very rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. So no - it is not special rights - we want the same rights you have to live our lives without you in our bedrooms...

    You must think you have special rights as you stand there with your picket sign protesting - you know that right is also in the Bill of Rights - and your freedom of speech too - but you know I have that right too!

    But just like we have laws and regulations on the freeway so we can all get along and get to our destinations - we have laws and regulations so that we can all live next to each other WITHOUT our rights and privileges impeding on those rights and privileges of those around us.

    Posted by: NYC | Aug 29, 2013 11:52:45 AM


  10. Sponsors could blunt these efforts by dedicating their own efforts to expand protections to black civil rights leader and primary organizer of the march on Washington Bayard Rustin.
    If sponsors are reading this, please consider this strategy.

    Posted by: woody | Aug 29, 2013 12:03:38 PM


  11. What is WRONG with these people?!

    Posted by: DiatribesAndOvations.com | Aug 29, 2013 12:22:17 PM


  12. Yeah, right. Ooga-booga, abracadabra, presto-change-o, shlmeil-schlmozzle, touch black. Works every time! Can't pray away the stupid, either.

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 29, 2013 12:23:03 PM


  13. Well, let's see...

    "Flowers believes the two movements to be separate because sexual orientation and gender identity are matters of choice, not genetics."

    So can we now remove religious affiliation from our discrimination laws? After all, your religion is a matter of choice, not genetics.

    Posted by: Lobotomy | Aug 29, 2013 12:38:32 PM


  14. We take the separation of church and state for granted, until we see an attempt made to breech, based on the reigning religious superstitions of the age. The San Antonio city council should be aware of economic sanctions that will follow, if they fail to pass protections for the LGBT community.

    Posted by: Joseph | Aug 29, 2013 12:39:01 PM


  15. They might as well just sacrifice a chicken and use the entrails to divine the future, because that will be as about as effective at changing an outcome as much as prayer does (which is not at all).

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Aug 29, 2013 1:50:46 PM


  16. My sexual orientation wasn't a choice, but so what if it was? The Constitution protects choice. "Liberty" is the right to choose how to live.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 29, 2013 2:49:30 PM


  17. Pastor Flowers was arrested in 2007 for dragging a 15 year old girl behind a van at a "bootcamp" he ran for young people. He's apparently quite a character. The girl survived.

    Here's a link to the Houston Chronicle newspaper story about his arrest: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/2-accused-of-dragging-girl-behind-van-at-camp-1845063.php

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Aug 29, 2013 3:17:04 PM


  18. Pray the Straights away.

    Posted by: kodiak | Aug 29, 2013 6:31:23 PM


  19. Separation of Church and State, anyone?

    Posted by: Nino | Aug 29, 2013 9:15:30 PM


  20. It amazes me that in 2013 people would attend a city council meeting and PRAY to allow them to continue to be allowed to show their prejudice and bigotry against fellow citizens.

    Posted by: *****overTX | Aug 30, 2013 12:00:58 AM


  21. THIS is why all people should challenge and combat religion every chance they get. Organized religion has entered the political arena and must be stopped.

    Posted by: Ajeroy | Aug 30, 2013 7:59:48 AM


  22. We will stay out of your bedrooms if you stay out of the courthouse.
    No one has been able to cite any cases where they were discriminated against and prohibited to live their life as an American citizen because they were gay.
    This is just a political agenda to try and force everyone to accept something that has previously been taboo.
    No one is talking about the ramifications that will be birthed by such an agenda like the absurd right for anyone to go into any restroom simply because they feel like they are a certain gender.
    The truth is that you will eventually see the logical evolutional truth that males with males and females with females will deter a society.
    Sexual orientation is not a matter of birth, you keep repeating that as to try to convince people that repetition will make it true.
    Look within the gay community and see how many flip flop between their sexual preferences.
    This boils down to eliminating that fact that there is intelligent design. Because if you can eliminate design, then you eliminate purpose. If you eliminate purpose you eliminate accountability.
    You guys that are so against religion are hypocritical. You ought to look up the word religion and then you will realize that you have your own. Religion is not privy to believing in God, it is defined as

    Posted by: cynthia belton | Aug 31, 2013 5:37:48 AM


  23. I see my rather long reply debunking Cynthia didn't get posted yet, and probably never will be. It was probably too long (or maybe it was, *gasp* the occasional swear word. So let me make it shorter and sweeter. Cynthia, you repeat the same tired old anti-gay lies as usual. Take your nonsense elsewhere.

    Posted by: Alan | Sep 6, 2013 12:00:41 AM


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