This article was originally published by our sister publication, Out In SA.
A San Antonio pastor, who for years has fought against LGBT equality, is encouraging his followers to vote “for” Propositon A, saying that if it passes the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance can be repealed.
Pastor Gerald A. Ripley, a Christian extremist and the main organizer of the Pastor’s PAC, has been circulating a letter
to San Antonians “who vote the Bible” in which he writes, “If Amendment ‘A’ passes, it will give a realistic opportunity to undo the 2013 ‘Bathroom Bill’ (aka Non-Discrimination Ordinance) passed by City Council even though citizens seated in Council Chambers opposed the ordinance by more than six to one!”
Propositon A, one of three amendments to the city charter on the November 6 ballot, would lengthen the amount of time to collect signatures for referenda, and reduce the number of signatures needed from 75,000 to 20,000. This would make it easier for special interest groups to challenge ordinances passed by the City Council, crippling its ability to govern effectively.
Ripley has made something of a career out of opposing LGBT rights in San Antonio. In 2011, he organized protests
against allowing domestic partnership benefits for city employees, a proposal which passed as part of the city budget with a City Council vote of 8 to 3.
On the day before the Council passed the benefits measure, Ripley posted on his web site that “Demonic forces are converging over S.A. for the purpose of establishing immorality as a right at the government level. Spend much prayer time in praise. This will release and sustain the warring angels.”
After the city enacted the nondiscrimination ordinance in 2013, Ripley was among those who sought to repeal the ordinance
“I led a referendum effort that would have required City Council to rescind their action or else put it on a ballot for the citizens to vote,” Ripley recalls in his letter. “We had to collect 61,045 petition signatures in 40 days. That is very difficult to do. It took 14 days to design and print the petitions. We collected nearly 17,000 signatures in the remaining 26 days. Thus the referendum effort fell short and men dressed like women are now able to go into girls’ restrooms in our city.”
Ripley goes on to explain that if Propositon A passes, “we may undertake another referendum to undo the ‘Bathroom Bill.’ We will certainly have a better opportunity to require City Council to rescind similar egregious decisions or to let the people vote.”
At least one community leader is publicly encouraging LGBT voters to take note of Ripley’s intentions. Darrell Garcia Parsons, board president of Fiesta Youth, posted on Facebook, “If proposition A is passed, a radical group of right wing pastors have vowed to go after the nondiscrimination ordinance that was passed in 2013. You can read it for yourself, directly from one of the pastors who fought against the nondiscrimination ordinance. Vote NO!”
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