Councilman Diego Bernal

Councilman Diego Bernal

A petition drive to repeal San Antonio’s new nondiscrimination ordinance has failed.

The drive was led by a megachurch pastor who claimed 50 churches launched petition drives to overturn the law. The group had 40 days from the time the ordinance passed to collect signatures from 10 percent of the city’s voters. They needed more than 60,000 signers and got about 20,000.

Some churches were worried about their nonprofit statuses. Federal law prevents a nonprofit from actively participating in political campaigns or endorsing candidates.

The church is still working on a recall petition against Councilman Diego Bernal, who sponsored the ordinance. Most churches are staying even farther away from that petition effort, which comes even closer to endorsing or opposing a political candidate and jeopardizing their nonprofit status.

A recall election would occur if 10 percent of voters in the council member’s district signed the petition.