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After Homophobic Remarks, LGBT Community Calls For Chan’s Resignation

August 16, 2013

Following the discovery of a secretly recorded conversation exposing council member Elisa Chan’s intolerant views of the gay community, LGBT supporters are now calling for Chan’s resignation.

The local LGBT community is calling on council member Elisa Chan to resign, after a covert recording released yesterday exposed her homophobia. Photo by Mary Tuma

The local LGBT community is calling on council member Elisa Chan to resign, after a covert recording released yesterday exposed her homophobia. Photo by Mary Tuma

In a press conference outside City Hall Friday afternoon, members of the Community Alliance for a United San Antonio (CAUSA) and other groups expressed sadness, anger and betrayal with Chan’s comments.

LGBT activists say Chan should undergo education and sensitivity training due to her “unfounded fears” of homosexuality, at the least, and ideally, should vacate her spot as District 9 council representative. They said several attempts at reaching Chan today have got unreturned, adding to the frustration and hurt.

CAUSA co-chair, Dan Graney, teared up when asked how he reacted to the recording, “I was sad–after our talks, to know what was really in her heart…[And that sadness] turned to anger. Now, she really needs to step down from council.”

Released late last night by the San Antonio Express-News, the recording captures Chan’s confusion and bigotry of the LGBT community, including her view that gay couples should not be able to adopt children and her disgust with homosexual lifestyles. Chan’s comments put to rest the question of how she would swing on an upcoming LGBT non-discrimination ordinance vote.

“She’s let down so much of her constituency, we hope she’d resign. If not, she should meet with us and let us educate her,” an emotional Lauryn Farris, president of San Antonio Gender Association and board member of the Transgender Education Network of Texas-Alamo Region, told the Current. “It’s harder to hate people when you know them.”

Manuel Medina, chairman of the Bexar County Democratic Party said Chan’s comments were “proof positive that discrimination continues to exist” in the city. “We need the anti-discrimination ordinance to prohibit public officials from discriminating against our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community,” he said.

Echoing the sentiment, Graciela Sanchez of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center said the council woman’s remarks aren’t isolated but part of a pervasive culture of intolerance–and one that needs to remedied through ordinances like the one in front of council today. “She is not alone, these violent and hateful comments are typical of many people in San Antonio. A cultural shift needs to take place.”

Jeff Bazan, one of the voices of ignorance in the controversial conversation and a former Chan staffer, suggested the council woman could score the most “political points” by standing up firmly as “anti-gay.” Bazan, who migrated to District 8 council member Ron Nirenberg’s staff, was placed on “indefinite administrative leave,” today according to a statement from Nirenberg.

The storm of intolerance unleashed by Chan seems to have pushed Nirenberg to declare a hardline on his views of the NDO. In the same statement, the council member pledges to back the ordinance.

“[A]fter months of deliberation and refinement, today, I am also announcing my support of the latest draft of the nondiscrimination ordinance. Every San Antonian deserves equal protection under the law, and I look forward to casting my vote to ensure it.”

Also in the fallout, some one-time supporters of Chan are now distancing themselves from her. For instance, Democrat Jade Chang Sheppard, a candidate for Texas State House District 50 contributed $500 to the Chan campaign in 2011, according to a release. After hearing what she describes as Chan’s “hateful and discriminatory” remarks toward the LGBT community, Sheppard is requesting her donation back as well as public apology from Chan for her “shameful” comments.

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  • starguy8

    How ironic that a group of people who wanted protection against discrimination based on their beliefs is now attacking a person based on her beliefs. Where’s the tolerance that you pretend to fight for? Public officials voice their opinions publicly all the time. But when they voice it against your group, y’all want her lynched. This is still America, where all of us have a right to express ourselves.

  • Riely

    The problem with your argument is glaringly obvious. Chan works FOR me. I pay her salary! Signing up for City Council means you give up the right to riff on any idea you want without criticism. DUH! What did she think? Public service is a choice. She can always quit politics and tour the poetry slam contest circuit, if she wants to speak her mind without any repercussions. But, while she’s still on City Council, it just… ain’t…. like that! Do you get it?

  • Michael Hampton

    She is just ignorant. Bazan is the one who should resign. He tried to back pedal and lied his hiney off. He knew what he was saying was wrong. She is just stupid.

  • tls

    Nice word choice, lynched. You do get, don’t you, that this would never have come out unless someone had taped her. How ironic huh? Where’s the pride in her bigotry? If there’s nothing reprehensible about treating other human beings as sub-human just because you don’t understand them, then why hide your opinions?

  • FantaDaddy

    She’s a nasty woman and Bazan is equally if not more disgusting. However, she shouldn’t resign. But, every time she appears in public, she should be reminded of the horrible and degrading things she said. Every time. Better that she live to wallow in filth than be allowed to escape it by resigning.

  • FantaDaddy

    You have a right to express yourself. Who’s denying her that? However, that doesn’t mean people can’t hold you accountable for your words.

  • Ronnie Maccallister

    Wow. What a crassly manufactured news story. Drama. Intrigue. Betrayal. Pursuit of justice. It has everything! And the glue holding all the elements of this story? A phony narrative gleamed from plucking random words out of context in the lengthy recording and applying them to a manufactured narrative. Sweet.

    Anyone listening to the audio would’ve picked up Chan’s compassion for the gay community, saying they should be free to be themselves and be left alone for it, and saying she once voted for gay marriage.

    She, however, stepped in it by her un-politically incorrect remarks about gay adoption. Those two “Aides” were moles, planted by CAUSA to entrap various Council Members into making damning statements regarding this issue. Listen to the audio, listen to the slick way they masterfully lead her through the conversation, setting her up and baiting her at every turn. These two “Aides” knew way, way too much about the finer points that paralell gay activism and the lifestyle in general. These were spies, operatives on a mission. And they got their damning testimony. Well, sort of.

  • Kelli Maples

    You really don’t have a clue, do you?

  • Kelli Maples

    Firstly, she can say and think what she wants. She did. Secondly, it’s never wrong to call a bigot,a bigot. You want tolerance for bigotry? Really? Finally, what WE want, her constituents, is that she quit lying to us about her real intentions. I guess, though, you’re ok with a lying bigot. Nice.

  • Kalifornia is moving to Texas

    This was setup by the gay lobby. Chan should come out swinging. She is a victim. Listen to full recording. The gay lobby is trying to he their way, these people don’t want equality, they want to remove a persons ability to disagree with what they want.

    They are evil and intolerant of the Christian viewpoint. They are themselves anti Christian bigots.

    Chan should say, my belief as a Christian says that this is what I believe. The anti Christian bigoted homosexual lobby is intolerant of my Christian viewpoint and they targeted me for political assassination because was a Christian that dared to disagree with them.

  • jack_foobar

    The tolerance of Degenerate Leftist NAZI Homo’s never seems to materialize, does it. The SturmAbteilung thanks you for your sacrifice.

  • MH

    Yeah, she can say that, all right, and reveal herself to be the bigoted dipshit that she is even more.

    The whole “you’re infringing on my religion if you don’t let me force discrimination against others” argument is as tiresome as it is absurd. First off, it’s not even remotely relevant, as America was NOT founded as a theocracy. If you want a nation where religion gets to trump governments and basic rights, go move to someplace like Iran. It doesn’t work that way in a democracy, and if you think it does, you need to go back to school and take basic civics courses.

    Second, your “religious oppression” argument doesn’t hold water because nowhere does the anti-discrimination ordinance say that you can’t hold your backwards beliefs based on an ancient piece of bad fiction writing. Nor does it say you can’t follow those beliefs, as asinine as they are, within your own faith community. What it DOES say is that the City of San Antonio cannot discriminate against a significant number of its own citizens and taxpayers just because YOUR religion says it should. In other words, again, it’s reinforcing the fact, grounded in the Constitution and our laws concerning civil rights, that your interpretation of your religion does not get to trump my basic rights as an American and resident of San Antonio. I’d ask if you understand now, but I’m sure you don’t.

  • MH

    Leftist Nazi homos? Really? That makes about as much as sense as the KKK Members for Racial Tolerance. But thank you for reaffirming my belief that there are a lot of morons in this city.

  • LarryChemEngr

    Ronnie, you are deluded. Let me guess. You are NOT a member of a class of citizens that is routinely derided and discriminated against. And, please don’t pretend that being a Christian means that you are being attacked in current American society. Jesus already died on the cross; there’s no room for you.

  • LarryChemEngr

    Starguy8, who ever said that she didn’t have a right to express herself? I want an answer from you on that; that is not a rhetorical question.

    Ms Chan seems to think she can express her opinions with impunity. So, if she opened her stupid mouth, and called her constituents racial epithets, you would jump up and declare her right to express her opinion? Would you? So, why is it that when it is gay people that are maligned, you think it OK to babble about the freedom of speech (which has not been infringed here)? Why is that Starguy8? Could it be, um, personal bigoted bias on your part? just guessing. But seems to fit.

    So, I call you out as a bigot, Starguy8.

    So, prove me wrong.

  • LarryChemEngr

    He is a moron, but look, he can spell, at least.

  • LarryChemEngr

    You conspiracy theorists really should go get a real life. What a waste of protoplasm.

  • starguy8

    Boy, you’re late.
    When I was a boy, there was a saying: I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.
    Do you agree that there is a difference between that saying and the intolerant attitude of the members of the gay community who are here demanding retribution against Ms. Chan? Calling in death threats? You speak about bigotry, but there are people in his discussion who have expressed their own slurs, referring to Ms. Chan and her “flied lice.” Slurs seem to be okay with the gay community as long as they fit your needs. Bigotry is based solely on HATE. Her views are based on the foundation of her FAITH, her religious teaching, her desire to obey the laws of God, not hate. Not a “phobia.” When I learned that my council member voted in favor of the ordinance, I called her, told her I regretted her decision, especially after contributing to her campaign, and that I would not be voting for her in the future. AND THAT’S IT. I never called her names. I never made fun of her heritage. I never threatened her life.
    “So, if she opened her stupid mouth, and called her constituents racial epithets, you would jump up and declare her right to express her opinion? Would you?” YES. But I wouldn’t have voted for her as a council member. From what I have learned, her views were not a secret before her election.
    By the way I AM part of the gay community. But its only a part of my all. And I live within the guidelines set by my church’s traditional teachings because it’s more important to me to please God, rather than myself. And it’s my right to do so. And it’s my right to vote for politicians who mirror my values. And it’s THEIR responsibility to represent my values in their public office. And it’s THEIR RIGHT to mirror my values during private meetings with staff.

  • LarryChemEngr

    First of all, you never answered my question. Did anyone say she did not have the right to express herself? What is your answer?

    Secondly, have you read the transcripts of the meeting? I don’t think so. You will find that none of Ms Chan’s comments make any connection to her supposed faith, or her desire to obey the laws of God. I think you are projecting your own beliefs on Ms Chan’s actions and words. Her actual words were quite vile and demeaning. I suppose that is why others are using vile and demeaning language now against her, which I think is childish.

    You say you are a gay person, and apparently your religious faith has you siding with Ms. Chan on agreeing to discriminatory laws against you. Do you feel conflicted? I sure would.