San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says now is the time for Texas to overturn it's eight year old Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, saying as gay marriage is legalized across the country, Texas' law will begin to hurt the state's economy, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
Castro's comments came following two major U.S. Supreme Court rulings on Wednesday which advanced the cause of gay marriage nationwide.
"Ending the official bigotry that Texas sanctions is both the right thing to do, and it is also good for business," Castro said.
Castro said there is no economic advantage to banning gay marriage, but plenty of advantage in legalizing it.
"You are going to watch as other states, like California and Colorado and so forth, gain economic advantage, because our state is seen as backwards," Castro said.
Castro, who is working hard to make San Antonio into a 'creative hub' by luring high tech businesses, says the young professionals who make up those industries, whether gay or straight, feel strongly that banning gay marriage is a civil rights violation.
Officials say they are beginning to see some stirrings of animosity toward Texas for maintaining laws which outlaw gay marriage among the 'creative class' that Castro seeks to lure to San Antonio.
They say having the image of being Alabama in 1962 when it comes to gay rights is not good for the growth of the city's economy, especially among young professionals.
Castro is pushing an adjustment to the city's anti discrimination laws which would add sexual orientation to the list of 'protected classes,' and would ban discrimination against someone based on sexual orientation by the city, by 'public accommodations' such as restaurants and shopping centers, in housing, and by companies which contract with the city.
Texas voters in 2005 approved a Constitutional Amendment which declares marriage to be only between one man and one woman.
But Chuck Smith, who heads the gay rights group Equality Texas, says if that vote were taken again, the outcome would be different.
"We have seen a 24% increase in support (for gay marriage) from 2005 until now," Smith told 1200 WOAI news. "Texans are changing just like people around the country are changing."