San Antonio, Texas Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance in 8-3 Vote


San Antonio, Texas has passed an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in a vote of 8-3. The ordinance covers city employment, and citywide contracting, housing and public accommodations.

The measure's passage follows months of public debate, public prayer against it, and headlines over City Councilwoman Elisa Chan's remarks on the bill, in which she called LGBT people "disgusting".



  1. hornlongjohn says

    Way to go San Antonio. You have heard the true calling of liberty and have responded. I am glad that the city did not give in to hate and discrimination. It is always amazing to me to see people that have themselves been exposed to discrimination not understand how we are all in this together. I am glad that their clouded judgements did not rule the day. Congratulations and full speed ahead.

  2. Francis #1 says

    The ordinance only applies to city employers and employees and it got watered down a lot from where it was, but it’s something, and the bigots (aka Elisa Chan and Carlton Soules) lost. San Antonio sending a good message that the city stands for equality. SA has one of the biggest LGBT populations so something, no matter how expansive it is or isn’t, was necessary.

  3. Luke says

    Anthony, we cannot pass ENDA as long if there is a Republican House, Republican Senate, or Republican President. Therefore, we cannot pass it until at least 2017, or more likely, until at least 2013 because of Republican gerrymandering of Congressional districts.

  4. says

    So as San Antonio takes a step forward, there’s another community in Texas that’s going back.

    The Texarkana Gazette is refusing to publish a lesbian couple’s wedding annoucement saying that it’s against their policy.

    I put the link in my comment name, but you can also google Michelle Cook and Patricia Wrightner.

  5. TampaZeke says

    It’s particularly shameful that two of the three votes against came from two women of color who should be particularly aware of the sting of discrimination and segregation.

  6. SFshawn says

    Thanks for the graphic. It’s nice to know(BY NAME) who the actual bigots and haters are and it’s should be no surprise that women of color were the most vocal and bigoted. They are an embarrassement to the residents of San Antonio and deserve to be called on their homohatred. One can hope that the Victory Fund runs a few qualified OPENLY gay folks against these bigots in the next election cycle and remove them from office permanently!

  7. NYCer says



    So much for celebrating diversity.

    So much for learning from the past.

    These women have probably encountered some form of discrimination in their lives, but hey. GAYS? Screw them. They don’t count.

  8. Derrick from Philly says

    Oh, yeah, NYCER and JAMES, like either one of you would have supported civil rights for Blacks and Asians–that’s if you had the same mentality 40 years ago that you show now.

    There are bigots in every race/nationality AND, OH YES, sexual orientations also.

    Like you care about “divesity” Who the you think you’re fooling?

  9. RBearSAT says

    @Francis only the employment applies to city employees and it didn’t get that watered down. There are five sections it applies to including fair housing and public accommodations.

  10. SamIam says

    Derrick from Philly – you’re very, very reliable. ALWAYS there to defend black people, even when they commit crimes, act ignorantly, and even vote against gay issues. Everyone knows where your priorities are.

  11. Derrick from Philly says

    And SAMIAM, you are a reliable White supremacist–always there to spout anti-Black hatred. It is my job on Towleroad to respond to your kind. (how ya’ like that line?)

    @ “ALWAYS there to defend black people…and even vote against gay issues.”

    Maybe that’s because your kind never notices the majority of Black politicians who do vote in favor of civil rights for Gay folks–in the Congress or on a local level.

    Your kind only cares about those Blacks who are anti-Gay–they’re the only ones who get your attention. That makes you pretty reliable too, don’t it now?

  12. Derrick from Philly says

    Hey, SAMIAM,

    another thing: where in my comment is there a defense of the Black or Asian councilwomen who voted against civil rights for Gays?

    I don’t defend Blacks who hate Gays. Why should I? They hate me too. But I can’t stand a pompous, smug White supremacist–even if he’s a homo.

  13. rob says

    No bigot should ever be permitted to hold any government office, or position of power or influence. Elisa Chan, Ivy Taylor, and Carlton Soules need to be removed from office immediately BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

  14. Kevin_BGFH says

    Wow, I’m stunned by how vehement the racism is in these comments. There are TONS and TONS of prominent people of color who support LGBT rights. People like Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond (Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP), Colin Powell, Ed Lee (mayor of SF), former Senators Akaka and Inouye (who voted against DOMA, as did African American Senator Moseley-Braun, even though it passed overwhelmingly and opposing it was considered risky at the time).

    No one is defending the council members who voted against it. But there are TONS of elected officials of color who support LGBT rights.

  15. Francis #1 says

    The ordinance specifically says “city employees”. As for the fair housing aspects, those are wonderful but I was talking about employment. City employees are protected under this bill from workplace discrimination. It does not apply to the general public.

    Also repeating what Councilman Bernal said: “If you don’t agree with someone, you don’t have to write a specific message on a cake or t-shirt they commission.”

    Not wanting to rain on anything or be a Debbie downer. It is what it is. If Councilman Bernal can be taken on his word and there’s no reason why he couldn’t, then yeah, that would be a significant blow to the impact of this legislation. We’ll see what happens, but like I said, something is better than nothing.

  16. mggm says

    Regarding the bathroom issue. It went through 2 changes. The first change last week virtually eliminated TG protections by tying it to “sex at birth.” Today’s change removed that restriction, thus re-including TG people in the ordinance. Today’s language only prohibits use of restrooms for illegal purposes.

    The poster who pointed out that the section about city appointments and contracting is only one part of the ordinance is correct.

  17. candideinnc says

    To those council members who listened with an open mind and an open heart in San Antonio, thank you. I stood up in Raleigh two decades ago and asked for the same respect for our gay citizens here in North Carolina, and the city council turned us down. There will be rare occasions where this law will be enforced. After all, it will generally be straight people who will be the ones enforcing the law. But when it is enforced, it will be because of grossly unfair conduct. It is good that the law will be on the side of the aggrieved.

  18. Richard says

    Great! Elisa Chan has taken a one-way ticket to the dark side with Michele Bachmann, Tony Perkins, Vladimir Putin, Scott Lively and all the other unapologetic bigots.

  19. Robert says

    Thank you to the Latinos on the council that looked past their (I’m assuming) Catholic faith and realized what a simple “yes” this was. And to the ASIAN FEMALE WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER, I hope this keeps you up at night and stresses you out for the rest of your life.

  20. FunMe says

    I was born in beautiful town of San Antonio, Texas. So wonderful and beautiful for the the wonderful way it has become so loving for GLBTs and equality. I may now live in California near the ocean, but I visiting my family to see love be beautiful for everyone. GREAT JOB!

  21. ratbastard says


    “Women of color”? So-called white people ARE NOT COLORLESS! We have color just as much as “people of color”.

    Plus, in the English language it should read “colored people”.

    When is this BS going to end? This is one of the reasons MANY people [the clear majority of the population; people who self-describe as ‘progressive’ [i.e., liberal] are a small minority of the population] laugh at and have contempt for ‘progressive’ political correctness. It also deliberately sets people apart and categorizes them as separate.

  22. ratbastard says

    “Women of color”? Newsflash: so-called white people have color,too. We are not colorless.

    And in the English language, it should read ‘colored women’ or ‘colored people’. We are all colored people. I’ve never met a translucent human being.

  23. 1♥ says

    Good news for San Antonio. We should thank those who voted for this and for those that didn’t, like the bigot Elisa Chan, need to be voted out of office.

    And I hope that WNBA bigot that supported discrimination receives a hard time on the court.

  24. Curt says

    LOL, I voiced my displeasure on Ms. Chan’s facebook page earlier and was censored for two weeks by the facebook Gestapo. So much for free speech on certain Social Network sites. We can celebrate the bill passed despite the bigots!

  25. Juan Reynoso says

    The truth will set us free. Armed with the truth united we stand, for our Christian values.
    Fellow Christians, Is Mayor’s Julian Castro and the councilmen that voted for the ill ordinance called nondiscrimination policies, moral leadership are right for the people of San Antonio? Our city needs leaders with moral character and believers of God’s principles.

    The passing of this ordinance is a tragic day for San Antonio and the Christians in Texas; this is the beginning of the destruction of our moral character in our State, but no one is to be blame but we that call ourselves Christians and fail to take action and stand for what we believe; apathy is our worse enemy, praying it is not enough, we must act and stand for our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly, inadequate to the present government of today, this government is a threat to our traditional Christian values and the moral future not only of San Antonio, but our State of Texas.
    SAN ANTONIO — Gay rights victories in Texas haven’t come at the Capitol but at city hall. While nondiscrimination bills in the Legislature languish, Houston has a lesbian mayor and Austin offers health benefits for same-sex couples.
    Should Christians obey an immoral Government that trashes the Bible and our U.S. Constitution?
    1.Romans 13:1 KJV – Let every soul be subject unto the – Bible Gateway…‎
    Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

    We have not government armed with power capable of contending with human passions not restrained by morality and religion. It is a tragic that most Bible-believing Christians today are misguided concerning Biblical submission to government. God never intended for Christians to blindly yield to government immorality, tyranny, blatant abusive of power and treason against its own citizens. What ever happened to the Bill of Rights?
    We ought to obey God rather than men, our founding fathers revolted against the higher power; they overthrow the British rulers to gain freedom. We enjoy freedoms which were secured only through bloodshed inflicted by rebellion and revolt against the abuse and tyranny of the immoral higher powers Fellow Christians, freedom is not free

    Interpreting Romans 13:1-3 in Proper Biblical Context

    Romans 13:1-3 reads:

    “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisted the power resisted the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers is not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good and thou shalt have praise of the same.”
    Please notice… “For rulers is not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” This phrase is critically important because it reveals the context, in which the Bible is speaking, i.e., appropriate government is only a terror to evil works; but not to good works. Good government is NOT a terror to good works. In other words, when a government is run amuck with crime, tyranny and injustice, we are not Biblically obligated to submit anymore. The Apostle Paul deliberately broke the law. Acts 18:13, “Saying, This fellow persuaded men to worship God contrary to the law.” We ought to obey God rather than men. Thus, sometimes Christians must rebel against man in order to obey God. To teach otherwise is to condemn America’s founding fathers, who if they hadn’t revolted, there would be no America today. Think about that.
    I believe that this is an attempt to impose a liberal value system over the objection of millions of Texans; it actually discriminates against those with deeply held religious views and trashes our constitution and the bill of rights. It takes a good man to break laws made by bad men. Romans 13:1-3 commands believers to obey the “higher powers” as long as the rulers are a terror to evil works, and not to good. God is the highest power. Acts 5:29 plainly states… “We ought to obey God rather than men.
    Fellow Christians we must do God’s will and stand for morality our freedom, our constitution and the bill of rights. We have some good people in the city Council; Elisa Chan, Carlton Soules and Ivy Taylor and the hundreds of congregants from black and Latino churches that rallied against the ordinance on the steps of City Hall. Elisa Chan has vowed to stand for freedom of speech and right to privacy, she is right and we must support her if we want to re-store our values in this city. We must call for a referendum and let the voters of San Antonio decide if we want to stand for God’s laws or men liberal values. Also this issue can result in a lawsuit because violations of religious rights and the Texas and U.S. Constitution.
    This ordinance will: violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Texas Constitution by threatening to remove any appointed city official who discriminated against a person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
    The ordinance, which goes into effect immediately, prevents local businesses from discriminating against LGBT people. Before the ordinance, proponents claimed, they could be kicked out at a business owner’s discretion.
    The ordinance also prevents public officials from discriminating against LGBT people while acting in their official duties and prohibits people who are awarded city contracts from discriminating against them.
    The obvious problem with this provision is that it allows government to impose thought and speech control over any city official or board or commission member who may hold deep religious beliefs that are counter to the ordinance.
    The war against liberal values starts now. This war is about our Christian values, our rights, our U.S. Constitution and our Texas constitution. We have many good people in Texas that are with us. If we are for Christianity and love our Lord Jesus stop the spread of this liberal agenda that is destroying our values.
    The following are web-sites that you must see to learn about what our city will become if we continue supporting this liberal agenda.

  26. Alamo Spartan says

    I live in San Antonio. You wouldn’t believe come of the citizen testimony on the days before and the day of the voting. One minister said the average age at death for lesbians is 45. Where did he get that? My guess he only knows one lesbian, who happened to die at 45, and he based his science on that. Many “Christians” said that the ordinance impinges on their freedom of speech? It does? Really? Actually, you can continue to say all the hateful stuff you said before the ordinance passed, you just can’t kick people out of your hotel because they’re gay. Now if your hotel guests are making lots of noise or are unhygienic in someway, then you can kick ’em out — which applies to all orientations. One idiot was carrying a sign saying, “This is San Antonio, not San Francisco.” Thanks for clarifying, dude — I really thought S. Alamo Street was Castro Street. Stupid me. It is a shame that the trans-folk in the bathroom issue came up as it did. I contend that anyone — ANYONE — who is at least 30 years old and has used a public bathroom — at school, work, shopping, theatres, airports, etc. — at least twice a week (I use ’em twice a day now) then that person has shared said bathrooms on a good number of occasions with a trans-person and absolutely…nothing…happened. Yep, fellas, that guy at the next urinal might have been born with female chromosomes. Yes, sisters, the woman standing behind you in that long line to get into the ladies room may have been born a male. The vast majority of people minds their “business” when using a public restroom. Those bizarre stories of drag queens waving their weenies in women’s locker rooms may have happened. Yeah, one or two isolated incidents compared to how many flushes otherwise????

  27. Alamo Spartan says

    To litper (“Eat your bowl of rice with dog meat, Elisa Chan!”). Was it really necessary to stoop to using horrible racist imagery to insult that person? Yes, Elisa Chan infuriates (and will probably run for State Senator on the wings of her “disgusting” statements), but would you like someone who disagreed with Barney Frank to tell him to go back to his quiche and Perrier with a twist and splash of Campari?

    Posted by: litper |

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