From the Human Rights Campaign:
Commonsense ordinance updates pass despite failed smear campaign by anti-LGBT extremists
San Antonio – the nation’s seventh-largest city – today added sexual orientation and gender identity protections into ordinances governing city employment, contracting, housing and public accommodations. The City Council passed the updates by a 8-3 vote, and despite an ugly smear campaign mounted by anti-LGBT activists that included harmful propaganda directed particularly at transgender San Antonians.
“The San Antonio City Council did the right thing today in updating their ordinances to reflect the basic value that all city residents deserve to be treated equally under the law,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Mayor Julian Castro’s support and leadership on getting this done shows his real commitment to making San Antonio a world-class city where all citizens are treated with dignity and respect. Today’s vote is a victory, but the attacks we saw from our opposition in the run-up to this – particularly the transphobic messaging – remind us of the ruthless tactics they use to promote discrimination against LGBT people.
HRC has been on the ground in San Antonio with strategic support and field resources since January to organize support for the ordinance updates, and was proud to partner with the Community Alliance for a United San Antonio (CAUSA) in bringing the updates to a successful council vote. San Antonio Councilman Diego Bernal was the sponsor of this bill, and the ordinance updates also enjoyed the strong backing of Mayor Julian Castro. Mayor Castro’s LGBT Liaison Adam Greenup was instrumental in the success of this ordinance. In addition to CAUSA, a number of other groups contributed to today’s victory, including Equality Texas, the San Antonio Gender Alliance, Transgender Education Network of Texas, and the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center. HRC San Antonio Steering Committee Members Chad Reumann, Anna Perez, Gilbert Casillas and Jennifer Ingram played pivotal roles in shaping today’s success.
San Antonio scored 48 out of 100 points on the HRC Foundation’s 2012 Municipal Equality Index, and HRC expects that score to improve dramatically this year as a result of Mayor Castro’s leadership. The MEI is a nationwide evaluation of municipal laws affecting the LGBT community. It examines the laws, policies and services of municipalities from across the country and rates them on the basis of the inclusivity of LGBT people in the city’s laws and policies.