SAN ANTONIO -

With just 24 hours before a potential vote on the city's non-discrimination ordinance, the San Antonio City Council is gearing up for another marathon "Citizens to be Heard" session.

At this time last week, hundreds of people had signed up to address the city council -- some in favor of the proposed changes and some not.

Last week's "Citizens to be Heard" session lasted late into the night and hundreds more are expected to sign up to speak this week.

Proposed changes to the policy would add sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status to the list of protected class under the city nondiscrimination ordinance.

Despite several religious exemptions, opponents argue that the current draft of the law would force people of faith to compromise their religious beliefs in order to comply with the law.

On Wednesday afternoon, State Rep. Lyle Larson released a letter addressed to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro in opposition to the ordinance.

"I am dismayed that the Council has chosen to focus so much energy and attention on this issue, particularly when the City faces so many challenges that need to be addressed," it read in part.

Additionally, State Board of Education Member Ken Mercer released a statement, also in opposition to the proposed ordinance.

“This NDO is unconstitutional, violating both the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution and the Texas Religious Freedom Act," he wrote.

To sign up to speak at Wednesday night's "Citizens to be Heard" session, visit the city's website.

In-person registration is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Another meeting will be held Thursday. Sign-up for that session begins at 7 a.m.

To speak at a session, you must be signed up before that session begins.

City council is scheduled to vote on the proposed non-discrimination ordinance on Thursday.

Images: 'Citizens To Be Heard' session at City Council

Published On: Sep 04 2013 06:44:57 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 04 2013 06:47:02 PM CDT

People started lining up early Wednesday afternoon to participate in the Citizens to be Heard portion of the City Council meeting that night.

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