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Now, No One Agrees With Proposed Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Ryan Loyd
TPR News
Council B session briefing on the lastest draft of the non-discrimination ordinance.

Groups on both sides of San Antonio's proposed non-discrimination ordinance have fought fiercely about the matter, which would add veteran status, sexual orientation and gender identity to the language already in place.

But now, no one is in agreement over the ordinance.

That is because the city's latest draft spells out in detail what will be a part of the ordinance and what will not be. It's what will not be included that has many previous supporters up in arms.

A source close to the issue said when the latest draft of the ordinance was released, it detailed that the laws will not apply to restroom policies. Those in opposition to the ordinance believed that a revised non-discrimination ordinance should allow transgender women to access the woman's restroom, and transgender men to use the men's restroom.

"Equality Texas and coalition partners oppose the restroom language in this draft and [are] working with coalition partners to have it revised," said the source. Many believe the language regarding restrooms is discriminatory.

That final draft details that the ordinance will not apply to restroom use, and many members of the community that supported the ordinance believe the new language effectively does nothing to protect them from a full range of non-discrimination.

City Attorney Michael Bernard began Wednesday’s B session briefing, which had hundreds of people in attendance, by saying it is not the intent of the ordinance to support or advocate for any particular lifestyle or religious view.

"To the contrary," Bernard said, "it is the intention of this ordinance that all persons be treated fairly and equally and it is the express intent of this ordinance to guarantee to all of our citizens fair and equal treatment under the law."

The council will vet the issue during the meeting, and will take comments from the public during the council's regular Citizens to be Heard segment at 6 p.m. today.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.