September 10, 2013
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott yesterday told a San Antonio radio station that he plans to filing a federal court challenge to a non-discrimination measure that was recently passed by San Antonio officials. 1200 WOAI reports:
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott tells 1200 WOAI news he’s serious about filing a federal lawsuit against San Antonio’s newly enacted Gay and Lesbian Non Discrimination Ordinance, and says litigation to block the new law may be filed as early as this week.
The law, which was passed 8-3 on Thursday, adds sexual orientation and ‘gender identity’ to the state’s current non discrimination laws.
But Abbott and other conservative activists say haste on the part of supporters to ram the NDO through, and last minute changes made during the debate make the law a ‘mess’ and make it unenforceable and illegal.
According to the station, Abbott said that Texas’s supremacy clause means that local law cannot override state law, suggesting that an individual could be in danger of violating the San Antonio ordinance by upholding the state’s ban on marriage equality. He also suggested the measure “seems to silence anyone who may have a disagreement with the ordinance,” which he believes violates the First Amendment.
As the Dallas Voice points out, it’s unclear how any possible legislation against the San Antonio non-discrimnation measure could affect similar ordinances in Dallas and Fort Worth that protect individuals from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
During the consideration of the non-discrimiation ordinance, Abbot sent a letter to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro with a warning that the measure might “envelope the city in costly litigation” if it were approved. Apparently, the costly litigation he was referring to might be of his own making.
“Although the proposal has been couched in terms of liberty and equality, it would have the effect of inhibiting the liberty of expression and equality of opportunity for San Antonians,” Abbott said in a statement before the vote.
Last month, Greg Abbott announced his intention to run for governor of Texas.