Rafael Cruz — Canadian-Cuban emigre and father of Tea Party Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — has joined the push to overturn a recently-passed LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance in the city of Plano, Texas.
According to Towleroad, the elder Cruz has thrown his lot in with the Texas Pastor Council, a group dedicated to gathering enough petition signatures to have the ordinance placed on a public ballot.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Cruz, who lives in nearby Carrollton, appeared at a rally on Wednesday alongside the evangelical group.
“This is an attack on Judeo-Christian beliefs in America,” Cruz said to the crowd. “It’s time people of faith become involved in the political arena.”
Petitioners need to gather 3,822 valid signatures to have the ordinance repealed or placed on a public ballot by the city council, which passed the law on Dec. 8.
Pastor Mike Buster of Prestonwood Baptist Church said that the ordinance is a “travesty.”
Buster said at the rally, “We believe the Plano City Council is attempting to silence people of faith in the workplace.”
The Morning News said, “The ordinance prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and by businesses, such as restaurants, stores and hotels. It provides exemptions for religious, political and other groups.”
Conservative Christians hope to meet with the same success as a similar effort in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in which 19 Kids and Counting matriarch Michelle Duggar joined the push to overturn that city’s nondiscrimination law.
Even if they are unable to gather enough signatures to force a vote or a repeal, the Texas Christians say they’ll never give up the fight for their right to discriminate against gays.
CBS Dallas-Fort Worth quoted attorney Jeff Mateer of the far-right Liberty Institute — a legal organization dedicated to fighting against the separation of church and state in U.S courts — who said, “This ordinance needs to be repealed. If it’s not repealed, then we’ll go to the courts, and we’ll spend and cause the city to incur tens of thousands of dollars.”
Nonetheless, Plano’s Mayor Harry LaRosiliere told the Morning News that the city will stand firm against the effort to overturn the law, which he said is legal, fair and constitutional.
“The Equal Rights Ordinance states that Plano is against discrimination, bullying and hatemongering,” he said.