The Hateful, Cynical Campaign Against San Antonio's Nondiscrimination Ordinance

This past week it became clear just how hateful and cynical the campaign to defeat a proposed San Antonio nondiscrimination ordinance has become. The ordinance would add LGBT people and veterans to existing city nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. The City Council is planning to vote on the proposed nondiscrimination ordinance on September 5.

How extreme has the opposition to that common sense ordinance become?

Consider the protesters who this past week booed a gay Marine who lost his leg fighting in Iraq. The Marine, Eric Alva, was simply testifying at a public hearing in favor of the ordinance. That’s right: protesters booed a man who had put his life on the line and lost a leg fighting for them overseas. And they did so because he dared ask his hometown not to tolerate bigotry and discrimination.

Consider also the words of San Antonio City Council member Elisa Chan and her staff members as they discussed how to defeat the proposed ordinance. San Antonio Express-News columnist Brian Chasnoff obtained a recording of that stunning discussion.

As Chasnoff reports, Chan and her staffers discussed how they could build opposition to the ordinance while hiding her own views of LGBT people. And what are those views?

“So disgusting,” she says at one point, and that’s not the only time she expresses her revulsion for LGBT people. She also claims that LGBT people don’t face discrimination but declares — in the very same discussion — that they should be banned from adopting children:

“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.”

She also thinks people choose their sexual orientation:

“You know, to be quite honest, I know this is not politically correct. I never bought in that you are born, that you are born gay. I can’t imagine it.”

When a staffer suggests she can’t say that publicly because “the newspaper will get you,” Chan replies:

“That’s why I never would say that outside because they kill me. When I say that it’s … behavioral preference, they say that, ‘No, you’re born with it.’ But I never bought into that.”

Chasnoff has much more about the discussion, including an absurd claim by one Chan staffer that “Americans can, with almost a 90 percent success rate, identify gay people by their face alone.” Another staffer recommends that Chan “become a culture warrior on this one,” arguing that doing so would be politically advantageous. At one point he seems to suggest that supporting policies that protect LGBT people from discrimination are dangerous because of “the road we’re going … incest and being able to marry animals, that’s all going to happen.”

Chan expresses reluctance to be seen as openly opposing the ordinance and attacking LGBT people. So she suggests that they simply try to confuse constituents:

“Maybe what we can do, can we maybe throw some questionable confusions like, OK, this ‘transgender,’ because the definition is so broad… Maybe I say I was not educated on what transgender is about.”

Of course, Chan isn’t the only one trying to confuse San Antonians. An email this week from the viciously anti-gay Texas Values, the lobby arm of the religious-right group Liberty Institute in Plano, describes the proposed ordinance as a “transgender bathroom law” that endangers women and children. The same group has also falsely claimed that the ordinance would ban Christians from serving in city government.

The protesters who booed a gay Marine who lost a leg fighting for them, the cynical City Council member and her staff, extremist anti-gay groups — all have the freedom to say and do such vile things. But we all have the freedom to point out that their hateful words and actions show why the proposed nondiscrimination ordinance in San Antonio is important. No one should lose their jobs or home or be denied services just because of who they are and who they love.

Listen for yourself to the disgraceful discussion among Chan and her staff members:

You can take a stand against extremists who promote hate and bigotry. Contact San Antonio City Council members and ask them to vote for protecting LGBT people and veterans in employment, housing and public accommodations:

Mayor Castro

Diego Bernal  [email protected]

Ivy Taylor  [email protected]

Rebecca Viagran [email protected]

Rey Saldana     [email protected]

Shirley Gonzales [email protected]

Ray Lopez         [email protected]

Cris Medina  [email protected]

Ron Nirenberg  [email protected]

Elisa Chan [email protected]

Carlton Soules [email protected]

14 thoughts on “The Hateful, Cynical Campaign Against San Antonio's Nondiscrimination Ordinance

  1. What a crass, disingenuous, terminally-biased assessment of the issue.

    Eric Alva wasn’t at that podium as an ambassador of the Marines.(although he DID appear in full uniform – something that is banned by Military code: Wearing your uniform in support of political causes).

    Eric Alva appeared as an ambassador of the intolerant, First-Amendment-crushing gay lobby. I am proud of him for fighting overseas and losing his leg in support of my freedom. I am ashamed of him for using these same credentials to promote an oppressive, corrupting ordinance.

    It’s funny how the mindlessly-pro-gay activims Media keeps slamming her. They took the (false) assumptions and ran with them, crafting a convenient dialouge blacklisting all opponents of this measure in one classless brush stroke. Did any of you hear the 17 minute audio in it’s entirety? I did. I heared her say she once voted for gay marriage. I heared her express compassion and sympathy for gays who just want to be left alone to be themselves.

    The media cherrypicked a phrase out of context, and then cut-and-pasted it onto a separate one to manufacture the perfect victimhood narrative, a little too conveniently in context of the nondiscrimination ordinance being voted on.

    In the discussion with her aides, Chan was being set up and baited by those two aids – leading the conversation into controversial subject matter.

    Chan said “…just disgusting” when referring to the wide range of behaviors people -gay or straight- do in their privacy.

    She DID however verbalized dissaproval gay adoption, as do I in my blogpost, “gay adoption nightmare stories”, over at gayharms.blogspot.

    1. You know Ronnie. I bet you also think being gay or not being gay is a simple human choice like strawberry ice-cream vs. chocolate ice-cream. Am I right about that? Did you personally once have a choice like that to make in your own life during your teen years, and you consciously chose heterosexuality as the right and Godly way?

      In Matthew 5:28, Jesus says, “Whoever looks at a married woman and lusts after her has already committed adultery in his heart.”

      It goes without saying that sexual desire for a member of the same sex in a person’s heart is the same in Jesus’s mind as actually committing a homosexual act. So, you see Ronnie. Being a bisexual “ice-cream choice” faggot in your heart and choosing to make Jesus happy by marrying a woman does not get you off the hook. Even one little lust for a good-looking man that trots through your heart on a trip to the shopping mall is just as evil as physically bedding down with him for 365 straight nights. You have to undertand one other thing too Ronnie.

      If you read scripture often, as I do, you also have to remember that we have a perpetually angry and vengeful God who is looking forward to the day when he heats up his fireplace poker to white hot and then rams it up your sorry ass—and all the heavenly host break out in uproars of laughter as you dance around in front of billions—and then he drops what’s left of your butt into the Lake of Fire forever. I’d get with the repentance quickly Ronnie. Jesus makes it clear that the sin starts in the heart—not in what you do or what you do not do or how well you restrain yourself.

      Check the scripture above once again Ronnie. Marrying a woman and operating an anti-gay website is not going to save you. All thoughts of lust—even the tiniest ones—must be permanently purged from your mind and heart and never come back again. If any of them ever come back for any reason, this means that you were never really saved when you supposedly gave your life to Christ. If you were saved, you would not be having even the slightest lustful thoughts about men because the Holy Spirit would have given you all needed power to purge them. If you have been unable to purge them entirely, there may be a reason for that—and I think you know what that is.

      There is no special heavenly gate-pass for being a bisexual who made the right ice-cream choice in your life. There is only what is in your heart.

      Thank you for allowing me to minister to you. You can find healing at your local Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Texas.

      1. That’s right, Charles. When I hear homophobes say that homosexuality is a choice, I always ask them if they chose to be heterosexual. That keeps them quiet for a while. Then they forget the lesson and start being bigots again.

        You know, mild homophobia is natural, a form of xenophobia which everyone can experience. A little rational investigation or thought or getting out in the world usually removes that affliction. But aggressive, intolerant, mean-spirited homophobia requires something more, almost always the indoctrination or peer-pressure of a religious sect that practices and preaches discrimination. Many religious sects, not just the Fundamentalist Protestant Christians I mentioned in my earlier post, practice and preach this. All of this hatred and bigotry is due to a failure of education by parents, schools, churches, and authority figures such as elected political leaders. It is just disgusting that this happens in the U.S., and the repeated examples of this we learn about in the media are really depressing.

        1. Thanks Steve. While I understand your point, my point is actually just a shade different. I see three things. Many heterosexual people are heterosexual because nature made them that way. Many gay people are gay because processes of nature made them that way. Neither of these two groups had any choice in the matter.

          Instead, I am interested in that middlin’ bunch on the bell curve. I remain convinced that the persistent notion of homosexuality being a simple choice (like a favorite ice-cream flavor) does not persist simply because someone reads scripture. Most people say, “Because this sin is so abominable, a loving God would never saddle a person with homosexuality through a natural process that they could not help. Therefore, it absolutely has to be a simple, sinful choice like deciding to rob a bank.” However, the Bible itself makes no such claim about homosexuality. This claim is a recent tradition of men (as Jesus defines it in Matthew 23).

          I believe the notion of choice persists because a considerable portion of the population is actually bisexual or has strong latent bisexual tendencies that are also a result of natural processes. In these people’s minds, gayness really does seem like a simple choice because that is the way they experience it inside themselves. The trouble is that they are making the mistake of thinking that everyone else in the world is JUST LIKE THEM AND EXPERIENCING SEXUALITY IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY THAT THEY ARE—A SIMPLE CHOICE.

          The message I am trying to get across to these “choiceniks” is that we natural heterosexual people on the one extreme of the bell curve, do not experience this sense of choice within ourselves. It is simply not there and never was. On the other extreme of the bell curve, the natural homosexual people do not experience any sort of sexual choice either. It is simply not there and never was.

          My main point to the “choiceniks” somewhere in the middle of the bell curve is this:

          “You guys are a special group of freakazoids that is half gay in your physical processes and your minds. Just because you have a choice inside your mind and decide to marry a woman and start an antigay website does not change the fact that nature made you half homosexual. The homosexual urges still come, and Jesus made it clear that the urges alone are sinful. It’s not temptation as some pastors try to argue to get this bunch off the hook. The urge in the heart is to bed down with a person of the same sex 50 percent of the time, and Jesus says that the sin in the heart is just the same as doing it physically in bed. Therefore, they can stowe their homophoic pride because Jesus is not buying it and neither are the other two groups.

          1. I understand your point of view now, Charles. You may be right about the bisexual “middle” experiencing sexuality as a choice, but I certainly don’t know. I don’t believe “a considerable portion of the population is actually bisexual or has strong latent bisexual tendencies.” Certainly some people are bisexual, but I would think the proportion was small. I was merely objecting to genuinely gay individuals being told that their sexuality is a “choice,” and criticizing the people who say that.

    1. I guess all minorities, the marginalized, and others are intolerant when they call out bigots and others that discriminate against them or malign them. Nice attitude. And we’re not simply pro-gay. We’re anti-discrimination. Please don’t add links to groups that are bigoted themselves. None of their data is legitimate.

      1. Kelli. Would you like to repeat that reply in English? I just read it several times and have no idea what you are trying to say. Should I just accept that it is mindless blather, or would you like to clarify it some? Thanks.

  2. I love it when bigoted and hate-filled (homophobic, misogynistic, racist, etc.) elected public officials are candidly caught by video or microphone spewing their hate and bigotry in private to others who share their ignorant and uncivilized values and thus reveal their true corrupt natures. In a democratic, secular society, Elisa Chan apparently doesn’t realize that she doesn’t have to marry a gay person, make love to a gay person, go to gay bars, enjoy gay culture, associate with gays, or even be friendly with gays, but she DOES have to respect the right of gays to be treated equally as people and citizens who share the same rights and liberties as other U.S. citizens, and share the same rights of self-respect, self-determination, and freedom from discrimination, simply because they are other human beings. She wants to deny a minority even those basic rights. This is such a shameful attitude, especially for someone who is herself an ethnic minority.

    Minorities should support the rights of other minorities who face discrimination in our society, but when minorities become a majority or identify with a majority, they begin to adopt the traditional majority pattern of intolerance and bigotry toward others and a willingness to express her sick values using authoritarian methods, specifically, using the power of her public office to continue official discrimination and institutional bigotry.

    I don’t know Elisa Chan at all, but I can easily predict that somewhere along the line, she became a Fundamentalist Protestant Christian and picked up the characteristic bigoted values that some of them share, one of which is intolerance of gay people. No doubt they are also openly intolerant of Democrats, liberals, secularists, humanists, and other non-ethnic minority groups (and perhaps also secretly intolerant of ethnic minorities). Fundamentalists recruit Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, and other ethnic minorities in our society, teach them their ignorant, bigoted values, and make them feel they are now in the majority, thus giving them the right to force their values onto others in our society using majoritarian power. But secularism and respect for minority rights is grounded in our founding documents (Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.), so wise political leaders and wise judges have understood that the majority should not force its sectarian or bigoted values on others. This is why there has been and continues to be an increasing tolerance for minorities in the U.S., and an increasing protection of their rights by law.

    Elisa Chan is a throwback to the bad old days of cronyism, discrimination, and intolerance. I hope her children are not being taught to share her bigotry, but if they are in her Fundamentalist Christian church’s private school or public charter school (half of all charter schools in Texas are associated with churches), then they may be getting the same malign indoctrination in bigotry she received in the past, the one that made Elisa Chan homophobic for no rational reason.

  3. Unless you have a strong stomach, don’t listen to the audiotape of Councilwoman Chan and her staffers. Her rank ignorance and bigotry is truly stunning, and I continue to be amazed that such people occupy elected office despite their evident mental vacuity. In an occasional moment of pity, I am sometimes tempted to assure them that , as much as I might like to marry my dog (and she’s a female, too) I’m afraid I will never be able to, since marriage is a contract that requires the informed consent of both parties, and she can’t consent–she can’t even read. Darn.