Abbott Says San Antonio NDO Is Subject To Legal Challenge

Sep 6, 2013

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said there is a provision in the city’s non-discrimination ordinance that silences anyone who may have a disagreement with the newly updated ordinance, which provides protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

"I believe that violates the first amendment -- both freedom of speech and freedom of religion -- and violates the Texas Constitution. And I believe that makes the San Antonio ordinance subject to a legal challenge," Abbott said.

Now the question is if Abbott will take legal action.

"Well, I can’t predict that right now," he said. "I know that I’ve heard various people from around the State of Texas voice concerns and voice comments about weighing a legal challenge we’ll just have to wait and see what happens."

Abbott said at this time he has not researched the issue of "standing" but he said there will be parties in San Antonio that do have "standing" and he expects they will be filing a lawsuit against the city. 

He said the ordinance violates the Texas Constitution by stating: "Anyone who shows bias by either word or deed against someone from the gay-community, that person can be removed from office."

Abbott said he wondered what would happen if an official in San Antonio said, "I think we need to uphold a section of the Texas Constitution banning same-sex marriage."

In that case, Abbott said, they’d be guilty of violating the San Antonio ordinance. 

Abbott said he has not been asked for his legal opinion on the matter, but does expect that request.