City Government
2:55 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Non-Discrimination Ordinance Complaint Website Set To Launch Sept. 4

Councilman Ray Lopez at the city council meeting on Sept. 5, 2013, when the council voted to approve the update to the non-discrimination ordinance.
Councilman Ray Lopez at the city council meeting on Sept. 5, 2013, when the council voted to approve the update to the non-discrimination ordinance.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The city of San Antonio's mechanism for filing a complaint under the revised non-discrimination ordinance is just about ready to launch.

Nearly one year to the day that city council passed the updated NDO, which adds sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status to the list of protected classes in the city, the website where people can file complaints will go live. The council voted to favor the ordinance on Sept. 5, 2013.

Deputy City Attorney Veronica Zertuche said Wednesday the website will launch next week on Sept. 4.

District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez told the council and people inside the packed chambers last year before the vote that he had debated the issue over and over. He finally came to the conclusion that supporting the ordinance would be a step in the right direction.

"In my case, often times felt a little bit conflicted about what direction I felt I needed to take -- torn between my religious beliefs and things of that nature. But it's abundantly clear to me that extending the rights to our friends in the LGBT community, as well as the veterans community, is the right thing to do," he said.

The long-awaited site has been a point of major contention among proponents of the revised NDO. They praised the council for their efforts to add the protections, but criticized the city for dropping the ball on a complaint and enforcement mechanism.

City leaders told TPR that people could make complaints through any number of offices until the website went live -- including the city attorney or clerk.

So far, TPR has reported two official complaints. The first was filed by Matt Hileman, a transgender man who felt threatened after overhearing colleagues at AT&T discussing the ordinance. The second complaint deals with a lesbian couple who claims they were kicked out of a local bar for kissing on the dance floor. Both are still under review by the city.