A San Antonio lawyer says he will provide representation free of charge to any resident who feels that his or her free speech rights have been violated by the new gay and lesbian non discrimination ordinance which was approved by the Council last week, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Joe Hoelscher says he has focused his practice on defending Constitutional rights, and this is an extension of that practice.
"San Antonio is a tolerant city and there should be no fear of people being able to express their political viewpoints," Hoselscher said. "It is repugnant that City Council has chosen to ostracize people because of their beliefs."
Some Christian and conservative groups say the measure, which extends the city's anti discrimination laws to protect people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity...will prohibit people with a sincere belief that homosexuality is a moral wrong from participating in city activities, and could even result in people being punished for expressing those views. Supporters of the measure say there is nothing in it which will force individuals to go against their conscience.
Hoelscher says while he supports the 'tolerance and human dignity for all people,' he says speech limitation codes have frequently been used to oppress minorities, and this time the minority that is being oppressed are Christians.
"The people who passed this law have a flawed version of history and a bad understanding of the law, if they believe that restricting speech is going to benefit minorities," he said.
Hoelscher says he has had nobody call his office yet to request representation, and he hopes it doesn't happen.