Non-discrimination ordinance marks one year anniversary

City has only received 2 formal complaints

SAN ANTONIO – It's been one year since the San Antonio non-discrimination ordinance was enacted.

The ordinance essentially added gender identity, sexual orientation and veteran status to the list of protected classes in the existing ordinance.

Since then, the city has only received two official complaints.

The latest complaint was filed in July when a lesbian couple claimed they were kicked out of a local ice house after sharing a kiss on the dance floor.

Both cases are still under investigation.

"We've had a number of calls from individuals asking if the conduct that they've been involved with was covered," said Deputy City Attorney Veronica Zertuche. "In a couple of circumstances, we said yes, but they did not follow up with the complaints. So there still may be some out there that we don't know about."

The city had been working on a website in an effort to make it easier to file a complaint.

On Thursday, the city launched that website, complete with a discrimination complaint form.

"The goal would be that it would provide anybody, not just a potential complainant, anyone who would want to know more about the code, the provision, could access that through the website," said Zertuche.

City Councilman Diego Bernal said Friday that the nondiscrimination ordinance has been "going well" and that not only does it cover a lot of entities, "It sends the message that this city welcomes and embraces everybody."

Robert Salcido with Equality Texas said Friday, "The passing of the ordinance last year was a great milestone for the LBGT community and the city is moving in the right direction with launching the website yesterday."

Salcido also said the Mayor's Office will be putting together a citizen's advisory panel, which would include citizens in the LBGT community.

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