Target: FOX News, OneNewsNow, WND, and The Washington Times
Goal: Stop spreading lies about San Antonio’s nondiscrimination policy
The San Antonio City Council is currently making efforts to update its nondiscrimination policy to include LGBT people. The updated policy would prohibit all city government employers and its contractors or vendors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation in employment as well as prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in housing and public offices and buildings. The ordinance would also allow San Antonio City Council members to consider an individual’s history of anti-LGBT prejudice when making appointments to city boards and commissions.
The right-wing media has been attacking the city council, claiming that the ordinance would limit the freedom of speech of Christians. WND absurdly claims the changed policy will “will discriminate against all who take the Bible at its word and follow it” would create a “permanent ban on participation in city government, business or employment” for them.
Additionally, a Washington Times editorial claimed the updated policy would restrict free speech and accused the measure’s backers of promoting “bigotry” against Christians. The editorial also defends Tony Perkins, the leader of the anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council, which frequently spreads myths and lies about the LGBT community.
FOX News has unsurprisingly picked up the myths being spread by other media outlets about the ordinance. FOX’s Todd Starnes, who on screen recently peddled the lie that the ordinance would bar people who merely attend a church that opposes gay marriage from public office. On FOX News program America Live, conservative commentator David Webb accused the measure of being part of a “broader anti-religion effort” and claimed that it would be punishing people because of their personal religious beliefs.
None of these arguments being perpetuated by the right-wing media hold up in reality. The proposed changes only make explicit a power already possessed by the city council by merely adding bias against LGBT people to the list of “prior discriminatory acts” that the city council could consider when making appointments. The media should be focusing on the more critical issues associated with the legislation, like the continued prevalence of anti-LGBT discrimination in society and the effectiveness of nondiscrimination policies. Instead, right-wing media outlets are peddling lies and instilling fear based on incorrect interpretations of the law. Sign the petition below to tell these media sources to stop providing misinformation and to focus on the real issues and impact this legislation could have.
Dear FOX News, OneNewsNow, WND, and The Washington Times,
The San Antonio City Council’s efforts to update its nondiscrimination policy to include discrimination against LGBT people are in no way an attempt to suppress the free speech of Christians or discriminate against religious beliefs. The updated policy would prohibit all city government employers and its contractors or vendors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation in employment.
By peddling these myths, you are not focusing on the actual implications or issues associated with the policy. I urge you to stop spreading misinformation and instilling fear and instead focus on the issues, such as the effectiveness of similar policies and their popularity among Fortune 500 companies. Nondiscrimination policies give basic protections and rights to members of the LGBT community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: NCinDC via Flickr