Council to vote on nondiscrimination ordinance

Protestors gather outside City Hall in opposition of ordinance

SAN ANTONIO – It's caused a firestorm of controversy and on Wednesday, the San Antonio City Council will find itself right in the middle of the ongoing fight over it's nondiscrimination ordinance.

The council is set to meet at 2 p.m., but protests had already started by Wednesday morning.

The most recent draft of the ordinance was released Tuesday, but despite changes, protestors say it still violates their religious freedoms.

  • Click here to take a look at the revised non-discrimination ordinance.

The controversy surrounds adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of protected classes under the policy.

Opponents believe the additions will force them to compromise their beliefs in order to comply with the law.

The most recent changes reflect those concerns, with the draft now including language stating that no person or organization will be forced to support or advocate a lifestyle or religious view.

There's also new language stating that the ordinance does not affect current policies regarding public restrooms and allows for the city to reconcile a complaint before any criminal charges occur.

But those who oppose the ordinance say it's not enough and they're placing the blame squarely on the San Antonio City Council

"Part of the concern is that there's been tremendous confusion and now you're at a point -- even though the city and some of their members are trying to come up with some eleventh-hour changes -- (where) they've really lost the trust of the public," said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values.

The anticipation for Wednesday afternoon's meeting has been building the last few weeks and the climax will come later at the "citizens to be heard" portion of the meeting.

If you want to speak at the "citizens to be heard" session, you'll have to sign up ahead of time.

You can do that online until 6 p.m. at sanantonio.gov/ctbh or in person starting at 4 p.m. in the City Council chambers. Online registration is encouraged.

As of 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 193 people had signed up to speak.

A video carousel is embedded here.