State Senator wants non-discrimination ordinances removed from Texas cities in new bill

Senate bill 92

AUSTIN -- Texas Senator Bob Hall (R) filed legislation earlier this week which would overturn nondiscrimination ordinances protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that various cities, including San Antonio, have already adopted.

The legislation would also not allow cities or counties to pass laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis not mentioned in state law.

In the law, the Senator from the Dallas area writes, "Uniform laws will benefit the businesses, organizations, and employers seeking to do business in this state, and will attract new businesses, organizations and employers."

Back in September 2013, San Antonians came out by the hundreds to voice their opinions about the non-discrimination ordinance. The city council ended up passing the non-discrimination ordinance amendment offering protecting to members of the LGBT community and veterans.

Equality Texas tells News 4 San Antonio the problem is, if this proposed bill passes, San Antonio and other Texas cities would no longer have their own non-discrimination ordinances.

"And then it would leave the opportunity for San Antonians, as well as many other communities, open to discrimination. It goes far greater reach that just effect the LGBT community," said Robert Salcido, Regional Field Coordinator of Equality Texas.

The Texas Association of Business says the legislation could cost the Texas economy billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"From a business standpoint, it's bad for business, that's why our board voted recently to oppose these types of pieces of legislation that are seen as discriminatory," said Chris Wallace, President of the Texas Association of Business.

The Texas Association of Business is working on an economic impact study to see exactly how much this proposed legislation would cost Texas.

The study will be completed December 6th, and given to lawmakers so they can get an idea of the dollar amount before the legislative session begins in January.

Senator Hall sent the following statement to News 4 San Antonio :

"A patchwork of inconsistent local ordinances pertaining to a protected classification or prohibited discrimination leads to confusion for business owners and consumers. SB 92 would prohibit local governments from imposing such requirements inconsistent with, or not contained in, state law. The legislation would in no way prevent any business or organization from voluntarily adopting any internal policies of their own choosing. It is imperative that the state provide protections for all citizens in a uniform manner across the state, and that those decisions be made, as is constitutionally appropriate, at the state level."

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