Texas Lawmaker Blasted Over Alleged Anti-Gay Comments
A Texas councilwoman has come under fire this week after a former aide leaked an alleged recording of the politician spewing anti-gay remarks, the San Antonio Express-News.
James Stevens, a 28-year-old aide to San Antonio, Texas, District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, released the audio to the Express this week. The recording was allegedly made on May 21 during a meeting in Chan's city hall office to discuss an upcoming nondiscrimination ordinance. The recording, however, apparently finds Chan making anti-gay comments, especially regarding same-sex adoption.
According to the publication's Brain Chasnoff, Chan's group can be heard linking same-sex marriage to the legalization of incest and bestiality. Chan also allegedly says that homosexuality and other "non-traditional" preferences are "disgusting to even think about." She adds that being gay is a "behavior preference" and that same-sex couple should be "banned" from adopting.
"I don't think homosexual people should do adoption," Chan says. "They should be banned by adoption. You're gonna confuse those kids. They should be banned. If you wanted to choose that lifestyle, we don't want to discriminate you, but it shouldn't affect the young people. How terrible that we actually allow them to adopt?"
The ordinance the group is debating would prohibit discrimination based on veteran status, sexual orientation and gender identity for city jobs or jobs contracted with the San Antonio.
"My decision to record in the first place was that, during the staff meetings, we weren't really discussing the ordinance itself," Stevens told Chasnoff. "We were really just talking about ways to appeal to the (voting) base and to get them fired up as opposed to analyzing the ordinance ... [Chan's] not focused on the policy itself and how it's going to really affect the city. We spent 80 percent of that meeting talking about how disgusting homosexuality is."
Chan allegedly went on to say, "It is actually, what you call, suggestive, for the kids to be corrupt, which is against nature. I'm telling you, anything that is against nature is not right. 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 I say that it's ... behavioral preference, they say that, 'No, you're born with it.' But I never bought into that," she added." I think it's just disgusting just to even think about. All the definitions. ..."
The Huffington Post spoke to Chasnoff on Friday. The reporter said he has not spoken to Stevens since Thursday but told Stevens he would be releasing the audio.
"The response has been overwhelming positive," Chasnoff told HuffPost. "I've seen a few comments to the effect of... she shouldn't have been secretly recorded, but those are outliers. The vast majority of the responses have been positive. And I think people appreciate [getting] a glimpse inside her City Hall office while she's strategizing how to oppose this ordinance.
"I think it's significant," he added. "There's been a lot of misdirection from folks on why they oppose this ordinance. Some people are saying it's going to endanger women and little girls in bathrooms because transgender males will be able to go in there ... this, I think, shows that misdirection reached to the council level."
In Chasnoff's original report, he discusses a conversation he had with Chan regarding the recording. She said she needs "to hear that recording to know" if it's her speaking.
"I'm not quite sure what you're talking about so maybe you can play that back to me. We talk a lot of things in the staff meetings, so I wanted to know also under what context," she added.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D-Texas) said he is against Chan's alleged comments.
"Councilwoman Chan's remarks were hurtful and ignorant," Castro told HuffPost Friday. "[No one should] believe for one second that they represent the views of San Antonians. Ours is a city that welcomes everyone and appreciates diversity."