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Vote on ordinance changes pushed back, protected classes may be voted on separately
QSanAntonio, June 8, 2013

Dan Graney, the co-chair of CAUSA called for an emergency meeting after the group learned on Friday afternoon that the vote on the non-discrimination ordinance changes, which was scheduled for the end of June, may be postponed to August at the earliest. Also, there are reports that the City Council, rather than vote on the protected classes (sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status) as a group, will instead take three votes, one for each classification.

Following is Graney's statement:

There will be an emergency meeting of CAUSA this coming Monday, June 10, 6:00 pm at the Esperanza Center, 922 San Pedro. Sudden disconcerting developments at City Hall in the past 3 days demand our urgent attention!

This past Wednesday at Citizens To Be Heard, we were surprised to learn for the first time that Councilman Bernal is proposing that “veteran status” be considered for a separate vote from “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” on the proposed updates to our city's non-discrimination ordinances.

We have subsequently learned (both from Bernal and Adam Greenup, the Mayor's LGBT liaison) that the vote on this matter that was scheduled for June 27 is being postponed until sometime in August at the earliest.

Additionally, there MAY be a proposal in the works that separate votes be taken on the protected classes of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”.

CAUSA leaders have been on the phone and in meetings all day on this matter, but we still have not received official confirmation on this from Councilman Bernal or the mayor's office.

DeeDee Belmares and I are attempting to schedule meetings with both Councilman Bernal and Mayor Castro to get official confirmation on this one way or the other.

Having separate votes on the “LGB” and the “T” would be UNACCEPTABLE to CAUSA, its participants and coalition partners.

This has been our position from the beginning of CAUSA two years ago and Councilman Bernal and the mayor know this. We want them to have courage, “buck up” and stand with the vast majority of San Antonio voters who support these protections and not cave to the strident voices of the religious right who have been bombarding the mayor and council members with phone calls and other communications.

The mayor and the majority of Council members stood against these strident voices on the domestic partner benefits vote in 2011 and they need to stand against them NOW!

Our strategies of including veterans in our struggle, scheduling constituent meetings with Council Members, calling the mayor and council members and running op-eds in the Express-News and other publications remains the same.

However, it is now time to discuss other options if our city leaders attempt to divide our community in these votes and keep “kicking the can down the road”!

No one individual or group is MORE equal than others! We will not allow DISCRIMINATION against ANY GROUP in our quest for NON-DISCRIMINATION FOR ALL! Together we STAND! We will not be DIVIDED! We need these protections NOW!

CAUSA continues to encourage LGBT citizens and allies to speak during the Citizens to Be Heard sessions in Council Chambers at 6 p.m. every Wednesday between now and the end of June. The group has talking points and can offer assistance to anyone who wants to craft a 3-minute statement.

For those who cannot speak in person, CAUSA encourages you to call your City Council member and ask them to support the ordinance changes. The link below will direct you to CAUSA's web site.

Click here for a list of City Council members and their phone numbers.

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