A racially diverse coalition of Houston churches is hoping to defeat a proposed non-discrimination ordinance that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Mayor Annise Parker, an open lesbian, is promoting the measure, also known as the Equal Rights Ordinance. The Houston City Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance next Wednesday, May 28.
Supporters say it will protect sexual minorities while opponents say it wrongly elevates sexual orientation to a constitutionally protected class.
Some faith leaders in Houston support the measure but many say it will penalize businesses that want to practice biblical beliefs in the marketplace.
Dave Welch, executive director of The Houston Area Pastor Council, said Christian businesses facing complaints under the ordinance could be forced to pay a $500 daily fine plus thousands of dollars in legal fees for every complaint.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a Phoenix-based Christian legal advocacy group, noted in an analysis that the ordinance offers no protection for rights of conscience.
“(The proposed ordinance) will potentially require those in the creative-arts service industry to create messages with which they do not agree for events they do not support,” ADF attorney Joe La Rue wrote.
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SOURCE: CBN News