The City Council in Plano, Texas, is set to consider an ordinance Monday night that would ban anti-LGBT discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.
The proposed ordinance would also prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination against city employees and by city contractors. Plano, a conservative suburb north of Dallas, is the ninth-largest city in Texas with approximately 270,000 people.
Four Republican state representatives from Plano — Pat Fallon, Jodie Laubenberg, Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen — have written a letter calling on the City Council to postpone consideration of the ordinance.
"We do not believe there has been adequate time for the public and community leaders to be a part of the discussion of such a major, wide sweeping change in law and policy for Plano," the representatives wrote. "As husbands and wives with children, we have concerns that your sexual orientation and transgender ordinance may place women and children at risk and does not consider the moral or religious beliefs of Plano citizens or vendors who do business with the city. We see no need for such an ordinance given the fact that there are no state or local laws forbidding differences in sexual orientation or how Texans choose to dress."
Although the ordinance would cover public accommodations, it provides an exception for "restrooms, shower facilities, locker rooms, dressing rooms or any similar facility." However, that hasn't stopped anti-LGBT groups including Texas Values and The Liberty Institute from campaigning against the ordinance.
"The dangerous and divisive ordinance would give government new power to force private individuals and businesses to affirm homosexual conduct, 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' without consideration of the moral or religious beliefs of Plano citizens," Texas Values wrote in an email Monday urging people to attend the meeting and contact city council members. "Further, the ordinance does not specifically protect women and children against men using women’s bathrooms. There are serious concerns that this sexual orientation and transgender ordinance may place the women and children of Plano at risk."
Other Texas cities with similar laws include Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth and San Antonio. The Houston City Council passed an Equal Rights Ordinance earlier this year, but Mayor Annise Parker has placed it on hold pending a lawsuit from opponents who want to repeal it.
Tonight's meeting begins at 8 p.m. ET. To watch the meeting live, go here.