Abbott Doesn't Think San Antonio Ordinance is Unconstitutional

As the Christian right freaks out over the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance in San Antonio, Texas that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, their buddy Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, seems to agree that the law is constitutional:

Citing a late change in the nondiscrimination ordinance that San Antonio recently passed, a spokesman for the Texas attorney general’s office said the state is now unlikely to file suit.

A clause that disallowed appointed city officials to “demonstrate a bias, by word or deed” was deleted from the ordinance before the San Antonio City Council passed it on Sept. 5 with an 8-3 vote. The ordinance is aimed at preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“We are pleased the city council heeded our advice and deleted this provision, which surely would have been grounds for a constitutional challenge to the ordinance,” Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the AG’s office, said in a statement. “We will continue to review the ordinance and monitor the situation.”

The original language was overly broad and would likely have been struck down, but the fact that it was stripped and the final law seems not to have slowed down the wingnuts a bit. They’re claiming, as they always do, that the law will lead to pastors being dragged from the pulpit and thrown in jail. The fact that it never happens never seems to matter to them at all.

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  • magistramarla

    Abbott must have gotten the message that the exact same ordinance has been in effect in most of the other large cities in the state for many years. I think that the main reason for the outcry now is that (1) They are already freaked out over the SCOTUS decision and (2) We have a very popular young mayor (Julian Castro) who is dragging the city into the new century and happens to be one of the darlings of the Democratic party.

    I’m wondering if he might attempt to go after all of those city ordinances if he is elected governor.

    I never thought that I would say this, but he just might be worse than Perry for this state.

  • Trebuchet

    I’m wondering if he might attempt to go after all of those city ordinances if he is elected governor.

    I never thought that I would say this, but he just might be worse than Perry for this state.

    In context, this sounded like you’re talking about Castro, but I think you’re referring to Abbott. Is that right?

  • magistramarla

    Sorry about that. Yes, Abbott is the conservative who is running for governor. He’s currently the AG, and he’s made a career out of litigating anything that President Obama’s federal government wants done.

    Look him up – he’s horrific. The man was mostly paralyzed in an accident, sued for a fortune and then turned around and made sure that there are strict limits on anyone else doing the same in this state.

    Talk about pulling up the ladder once you climb out of the hole!

    He also made sure that all government buildings here are exempt from the ADA (too expensive for the state budget, don’t you know?).

    I’m disabled, so he makes my blood boil.

    Many of us are hoping that Wendy Davis decides to run against him. Many would also like to see one of the Castro brothers elected governor, too. (They are twins – Julian is mayor of SA and Joaquin is a congressman)

    I’ll be voting for anyone that the Democratic party puts up against Abbott.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    No way I am voting for Abbot either. The dems could run the proverbial yellow dog and I would vote for the dog. Still, this does seem to make Abbot seem less like a complete monster, but I know he is for the reasons in comment #3.

    And yeah. it’s time for Wendy Davis. If she fails one of the Castro twins will get it next time and I expect one will be president in the next few elections. And Davis would have a total money advantage over Abbot. The dollars would flow like Hurricane Ike’s storm surge.

    And Speaking of Ike, how did Perry beat Bill White last election by such a wide margin? White was about the most whitebread white guy ever. Fighter of hurricanes. Hero of Katrina, and was directly put to the test with Ike and won.

    One good thing about the SA law is that it is broader than the much older Houston law passed when Kathy Whitmire was mayor. Maybe we haven’t already done it because we have a gay mayor. Parker is likely to be elected to her third and last term this fall, maybe the council will be inspired by San Antonio and the SA law will become a model for other Texas cities.

    And that’s how it is here in Texas. Life is pretty reasonable in the People’s Republic of Austin, the International Enclave of Houston, and good chunks of the DFW area. But somehow these New South utopias have lost their influence.

  • Yup! East Plano isn’t too bad, but West Plano… Ugh!

  • Perry refused to debate Bill White unless he released some financial information that he wasn’t required to release. I don’t why White didn’t release the information but after Perry’s “oops” moment on national TV, I bet Bill White was kicking himself for awhile.

  • dan4

    @4: “White was about the most whitebread white guy ever. Fighter of hurricans. Hero of Katrina…”

    If there’s an explanation for how/why that first sentence is not racist, I’d like to hear it.

  • John Phillips, FCD

    dan4, it is only racist if you forget that for many Texas voters, but especially republican voter, normally the whiter the better. Which is exactly what Francisco was implying with his surprise that not only was he as white as it was possible to be for Texas, but competent to boot.