SAN ANTONIO (September 5, 2013)--The San Antonio City Council Thursday adopted anti-bias protections for gay and transgender citizens over the protest of religious conservatives and top Republicans in Texas.
Wi the The 8-3 vote Thursday, the nation's seventh-largest city joins a list of nearly 180 others nationwide with ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
San Antonio was the last major Texas city without the protections.
The local proposal roiled conservatives nationwide and was opposed by such big-name Republicans as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who predicted a lawsuit over religious freedoms.
Abbott has not said the state will challenge the ordinance.
The packed council chamber was divided by supporters in red shirts and opponents in blue sitting on opposite sides of the room.
The Human Rights Campaign, which has been working for passage of the ordinance since the first of the year, praised the vote.
“The San Antonio City Council did the right thing today in updating their ordinances to reflect the basic value that all city residents deserve to be treated equally under the law,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said.