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Glenn Beck, Pastor John Hagee Use Discarded Language To Smear San Antonio LGBT Ordinance

August 06, 2013 2:50 pm ET by Luke Brinker

Right-wing pastor John Hagee and Glenn Beck blasted a proposed San Antonio anti-discrimination ordinance as an "attack on the people of faith" and a totalitarian effort to advance "the progressive religion." But the passage that Hagee and Beck seized on as problematic has been struck from the ordinance.

On the August 5 edition of The Blaze TV's The Glenn Beck Program, Hagee and Beck peddled the myth that City Councilman Diego Bernal's proposal to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to San Antonio's anti-discrimination ordinance would ban Christians from holding office and doing business in the city.

Beck cited the portion of the ordinance that stated,  "No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against" individuals or groups based on such factors as race, religion, and national origin, in addition to the proposed addition of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Anti-gay activists claimed that the language - which was part of San Antonio's existing anti-discrimination ordinance - would be harnessed to ban Christians and conservatives from holding city office and receiving business contracts. To put to rest right-wing hysteria about the impending end of free speech, Bernal revised the proposed language to strike the section of the ordinance pertaining to prior discriminatory acts and bias. As San Antonio news outlet KENS 5 reported on July 26, the change was what Bernal called a "proactive" measure taken so that the focus could turn to the substance of the ordinance, rather than baseless conspiracy theories about the deterioration of First Amendment rights.

Yet nearly two weeks after Bernal tossed out the provision, Beck and Hagee made it the basis of their attacks on the proposal. It's an excellent symbol of the fact-free, groundless right-wing misinformation campaign against a proposal that simply seeks equal protection for LGBT residents of San Antonio.


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