News (USA)

Petition drive to repeal San Antonio LGBT non-discrimination ordinance fails

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — An effort to repeal San Antonio’s LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance died Tuesday when opponents of the measure failed to gather the required signatures to put a referendum before voters.

San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

A few hours before Tuesday’s deadline, petition organizers informed city officials they did not gather the required 10 percent of eligible voters to put the measure on the citywide ballot, reported the San Antonio Express-News.

Pastor Gerald Ripley of Abundant Life Church, leader of the petition drive, estimated the group collected about 20,000 signatures, well below the required 61,046.

The measure, approved by the city council on Sept. 5, expanded San Antonio’s non-discrimination ordinance to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Religious conservatives claimed it would restrict their rights of free speech and conscience, and a coalition of more than 50 churches and ministries launched a petition drive to force it to a referendum.

But according to Ripley, not all churches that opposed to the ordinance joined in the petition drive to overturn it.

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“We ran out of time. If we’d had more time, we would have accomplished it,” Ripley told KENS-TV.

Mayor Julian Castro was quick to respond when the petition failed.

“I’m glad people can move on from divisive attempts to undo an ordinance that was always commonsense about treating everybody the same,” Castro said.

A separate effort to recall council members who supported the ordinance continues.

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