Gay rights groups seek anti-bias victory in Texas

September 5, 2013
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Opponents of a proposed nondiscrimination ordinance sound shofars and pray outside the city council chambers, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, in San Antonio. The San Antonio City Council is expected to vote Thursday on an ordinance which in part would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Gay rights advocates and religious conservatives have packed a City Council meeting ahead of a vote on nondiscrimination protections that have drawn rebuke from big-name Republicans.

The proposal would amend San Antonio's nondiscrimination code to include sexual orientation and gender identity. That would add the nation's seventh-largest city to a list of nearly 180 other U.S. cities with similar ordinances.

The City Council was expected to vote Thursday afternoon, after a morning hearing in which supporters in red shirts and opponents in blue sat on opposite sides of the ornate chamber.

Church leaders vowed petitions to recall council members. Shouts of protesters outside City Hall often carried through the stone walls of the century-old building.