Despite revisions to the original document, pastor John Hagee still opposes a proposed city ordinance intended to protect the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in San Antonio, Texas.
The San Antonio Express News wrongly reported that Hagee, founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, would not stand against the new version.
The original proposal sought to prevent candidates who had discriminated against the LGBT community in “word or deed" from running for city boards and commissions. San Antonio Coucilman Diego Bernal, who authored the original document, removed that language from the proposed ordinance in late July. The revised ordinance is expected to be presented to the City Council on Sept. 5.
Hagee had cited the original document as an attack on religious freedom and sent a letter to the council and the mayor requesting a meeting to discuss it. He maligned the original proposed ordinance from his pulpit and on Glenn Beck’s nationally syndicated talk show.
“The San Antonio Express News has corrected their misleading headline and the erroneous assertion that I supported this city ordinance. After speaking with San Antonio City Councilman Bernal, it was explained to me that the portions of the proposed ordinance that were most offensive to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, with respect to people of faith being able to serve on the San Antonio City Council, were deleted," Hagee says. "This is a significant victory for people of faith who oppose the ordinance. I understand other concerns remain, and I encourage those who share these concerns to continue their efforts to ensure that this ordinance will in no way discriminate against people of faith.”
The revised version still does not sit well with local pastors and Christian business owners because the ordinance could still penalize companies and individuals who act on their religious beliefs.
“[It offers] no protection for people in how they speak and express their religious beliefs,” Robert P. Wilson, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, told the San Antonio Express-News. “On one hand, the proposal is promoting equality. On the other hand, it criminalizes religious convictions if a business does not operate according to the way the city says is 'right.'”