An anti-discrimination ordinance that would protect gays and transgender people is facing strong opposition in Plano, Texas. Naturally, the Cruz family is involved.
Rafael Cruz, the fiery pastor and father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, is well known for his conservative and Christian bona fides, and now he has inserted himself into a local city council issue in Plano, Texas, claiming an anti-discrimination measure is an “attack on Judeo-Christian beliefs in America.”
The measure that has Cruz so fired up is an equal rights ordinance passed late last year by the City Council of Plano, Texas. When it was passed, the ordinance’s backers on the Council did not predict much commotion. The measure, after all, merely extended existing provisions forbidding discrimination in housing and employment to include sexual orientation and gender identity, putting the city largely in line with federal law.
Instead, Plano, a city of under 275,000 on the outskirts of Dallas, is quickly becoming a suburban Stonewall.
Opponents of the ordinance say preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is against their religious beliefs as Christians, and that being required to follow the new rules is an assault on their personal liberty. That’s an expansive interpretation of religious liberty, but one which has been used across the country by religious conservatives to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and, most famously, for owners of privately held companies who oppose abortion to deny insurance coverage of birth control to women employees.