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San Antonio Councilwoman’s Homophobia Caught on Tape

San Antonio Councilwoman’s Homophobia Caught on Tape

Written by Zack Ford

Conservatives have been up in arms about a proposed bill in San Antonio, Texas that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to all of the city’s nondiscrimination policies, including employment, housing and public accommodations. It also includes a provision allowing the City Council to consider the discriminatory practices of potential contractors — a policy that already existed but was not LGBT-inclusive. Conservatives have argued that the policy specifically targets Christians, even though that there is nothing in the proposal to justify such claims.

The heated arguments over the nondiscrimination ordinance have led to some disappointing public displays of homophobia. Eric Alva, a gay marine veteran — and the first U.S. soldier to have been injured in Iraq — attended a Council Meeting last Wednesday night to speak on behalf of the bill and the crowd proceeded to boo him. Before leaving the podium, he called out his religious detractors: “To all you people that preach the word of God, shame on you because God loves me, like the day I laid bleeding on the sands of Iraq and that’s why he saved me.”

Perhaps more troubling is a secret tape that was recently released of San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan trying to strategize against the proposal.  Recorded at a meeting in May, the tape reveals Chan calling homosexuality “so disgusting” and telling her staff what talking points to include in an op-ed to make her sound less less offensive, suggesting, “Maybe I say I was not educated on what transgender is about.” Here are some excerpts:

I don’t think homosexual people should do adoption. They should be banned by adoption. You’re going to confuse those kids. They should be banned. If you wanted to choose that lifestyle, we don’t want to discriminate you, but you shouldn’t affect the young people… You see two men go into a bedroom. You see two women kissing. Is that not confusing? It’s confusing. [...]

Chan’s staff and the comments made by other conservative groups demonstrate a deficit of understanding about sexual orientation and gender identity. Homophobia and transphobia are readily apparent and being used to justify discrimination against the LGBT community, even if the talking points are sugar-coated for public compensation.

UPDATE
Chan is defending her comments, saying they were simply her “personal opinions and thoughts as guaranteed to me by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” She did not address the substance of her remarks, merely promising to “fight for our freedom of speech, especially in a private setting.”

This post was originally published in ThinkProgress

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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103 comments

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1:07PM PDT on Aug 26, 2013

Kudos to Eric Alva for his eloquent words, and his quiet dignity.

To my dear Councilwoman Chan - If you believe homosexuality is contagious...

You will have to give up shaking hands, at least without rubber gloves - those pesky LGBT germs you know.

You can no longer hold babies, for they may have those LGBT germs may be lurking from their parents, or siblings, or other relatives. Of course, hugs are out of the question, even friends could harbor those sneaky germs.

You can't use a taxi, for you never know who the previous passengers may be...or the driver.

You will have to disinfect all restaurant chairs before sitting as who knows where those unseen LGBT germs may lurk. The Wait staff, the chef, the dishwasher, other patrons.

And the list goes on, and on, and on...Almost forgot the most important ones of all - hospital and emergency personnel...even tho cleanliness is above godliness, in emergency situations you just never know which EMT, nurse, doctor, candystripper, janitor, food service worker, flower delivery person...do I really need to keep going here. Oh yes, the police...

The point being LGBT don't wear Rainbow patches so you will be able to know who should be avoided. The LGBT germs are insidious. Do you carry enough disinfectant??

5:41PM PDT on Aug 25, 2013

time to evolve Miss Chan........

11:26AM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

Get her out of the council! She is unworthy!

2:04PM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

Yes David F., congratulations on coming out!

2:03PM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

"Chan is defending her comments, saying they were simply her “personal opinions...."

Oh, so if bigotry and homophobia is your "personal opinion" you just get a pass on being an homophobic bigot?

1:11PM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

I cannot believed they booed that man! Hiding their hatred behind that 'books' rules makes me ill.

11:46AM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

What a LOSER...

7:47PM PDT on Aug 22, 2013

Glad to hear you're finally admitting that you're gay, David. I was beginning to fear for the axis deer you love so much :))

2:31PM PDT on Aug 22, 2013

The truth always comes out, her arrogance is only exceeded by her stupidity.

2:24PM PDT on Aug 22, 2013

Linda M, I agree whole heartedly with you. It would be interesting to know how many of those booing Eric Alva actually served themselves. Are they willing to go to Afghanistan (or wherever the GOP is sending our young men and women this week)? Are they willing to put their lives on the line to uphold the beliefs they’re so intent on forcing on others?
I know a lot of heterosexuals who tried to “infect” LGBT with heterosexuality. Didn’t work. So how does it work the other way around, Ms. Chan?

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