A major boost today for that San Antonio gay and lesbian anti-discrimination law, perhaps the most important boost that it could get as City Council prepares to debate the issue next week and vote on it September 5th.


  The Greater Chamber of Commerce has gone on record in support of the measure.


  "After much discussion on both sides of the issue, a majority of the Board members present voted to approve a Chamber position in support of the City's proposed expansion of the non discrimination ordinance," Greater Chamber President Richard Perez said in a statement.


  The support of business is critical, because many of the concerns about the ordinance have been made from the point of view that it might lead to junk lawsuits against businesses, cost businesses more money in reconfiguring restrooms, or force businesses to choose between their religious beliefs and the need to follow the law.


  Perez says the proposal will simply expand the current non discrimination law, which has for decades banned discrimination in hiring and treatment of customers based on race, gender, disability, age, or religion.  Perez says the law has not caused any unique challenges for businesses.


  But Perez conceded that there was opposition from Chamber leaders.


  "While I know that we don not have 100% agreement on the ordinance from our diverse membership, I respect the majority vote of our Board of Directors," he said.