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Four Republican lawmakers from Texas are readying to introduce a new bill that would prohibit cities and counties from adopting laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination, the Texas Observer reports.

The proposed legislation would also nix current existing laws and ordinances that protect LGBT people from discrimination.

According to the Observer, the measure is a response to the Plano City Council's passage of an equal rights ordinance last month that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

"There is legislation that's being worked on," Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) said in December at Plano's Prestonwood Baptist Church in response to the passage of the city's equal rights ordinance, according to audio recording obtained by the Observer. "Jeff Leach, who's also a state representative-he and I represent the majority of Plano-he's actually leading an effort to nullify these types of ordinances statewide. There's actually four state representatives that represent Plano-all of us will be joint authors of that legislation-but Rep. Leach will lead that effort."

You can listen to the audio over at the Observer by clicking here.

Texas Pastor Council Executive Director David Welch, whose group is pushing for a repeal of the equal rights ordinances in Plano and Houston, told the Observer: "It should be a uniform standard statewide, and cities can't just arbitrarily create new classes that criminalize a whole segment of the majority of the population. It's just self-evident that they're going to try to do it city by city. We're dealing with a broad public policy that creates criminal punishments. That's a pretty serious issue, and when it's based on a special agenda by a small, tiny fragment of the population ... that's a legitimate need and reason for the state Legislature to act."

Welch's group has until Jan. 20 to obtain enough signatures to put the repeal of the Plano equal rights measure on the May ballot. The newspaper points out that on the same day, "a trial is set to begin in the lawsuit aimed at repealing Houston's equal rights ordinance."

"Nobody supports discrimination and nobody supports discriminating against anybody in the GLBT community," Welch added. "What we're against is laws that are passed that essentially give them privileged-class status and threaten with criminal penalties business owners and individuals and ultimately churches and pastors for practicing historic beliefs that have been part of this country since it's founding, and that's something that's a direct threat against our First Amendment, and that's what this is all about."

From our media partner EDGE