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-San Antonio Ordinance May Restrict Christian Conventions?

by Dr. D ~ September 18th, 2013

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Anton...

             (Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas:  Wikipedia)

Lawyers from the Southern Baptist Convention have explored the legal ramifications of the new San Antonio City ‘non-discrimination’ policy and have concluded that it could restrict and even prevent Christian organizations from using the city’s convention center.

Here’s the story from the Baptist News:

SAN ANTONIO (BP) — A new San Antonio nondiscrimination ordinance likely will prevent the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention from holding annual meetings in the city’s convention facilities, according to an attorney (James Guenther) who represents both conventions, referencing the law’s requirement that contracting parties not discriminate on sexual orientation or gender identity.

It’s not clear how the new ordinance would apply to a convention leasing the city’s facilities, Guenther said. One possible interpretation is that no official statement of the convention would be allowed to denounce homosexuality. Another interpretation is that the convention would only be barred from denying seating to homosexual messengers.
Either interpretation is problematic, Guenther said. Neither SBC nor SBTC governing documents specifically exclude homosexuals from being messengers, he said, but they forbid churches that affirm homosexuality from sending messengers.

The SBC last met in San Antonio in 2007 in a city-owned convention hall. The SBTC met in San Antonio last year but at Castle Hills First Baptist Church.

<Read the whole article>

Response: It is obvious that the SBC is now going to avoid the city of San Antonio when it comes to church conventions in order to not get caught up in the middle of an unneeded controversy. I expect other Christian organizations will also now look elsewhere for their gatherings.

The new ordinance isn’t just a ‘nondiscrimination’ policy. The whole thing was originally directed towards Christians and the first drafts of the law could have prevented conservative Christians from working for the city and even running for city office. The final wording was toned down a bit but there are still concerns about how it will affect Christian owned businesses within the city limits.            *Top

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1 Response to -San Antonio Ordinance May Restrict Christian Conventions?

  1. -Did the Death of DOMA Sow the Seeds of a Crisis in Religious Liberty? | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] already seen some indications of how government officials and the courts might proceed. last year, San Antonio (Texas) city officials passed an ordinance with a ‘non-discrimination’ policy and that would seem to target and prevent Christian […]

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