SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A secret recording of a staff meeting to discuss a proposed citywide non-discrimination ordinance captured a San Antonio city councilwoman discussing why homosexuality is “so disgusting” and “against nature.”
The May 21 meeting with councilwoman Elisa Chan and her staff was intended to chart policy strategy and response for the city’s plan to update its non-discrimination ordinance to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
But instead of focusing on the policy itself and how it’s going to affect the city, Chan steered the conversation to a discussion of “how disgusting homosexuality is,” according to James Stevens, the former staffer who leaked the recording earlier this week.
“I think it’s just disgusting just to even think about,” Chan is heard telling aides.
“This is politically incorrect. 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 said.
“If you wanted to choose that lifestyle, we don’t want to discriminate you, but you shouldn’t affect the young people,” she continued. “How terrible … They’re going to be confused. You see two men go into a bedroom. You see two women kissing. Is that not confusing? It’s confusing.”
“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.”
The recording also captured disparaging remarks from Jeff Bazan, then Chan’s chief of staff, and now a staff member for newly sworn in city councilman Ron Nirenberg.
Bazan told media outlets in Texas Friday that his comments were taken out of context, and that he was just sharing a “viewpoint that some people have on the gay marriage issue.”
The recording was released just one day after a highly decorated openly gay Iraq war combat veteran was booed by a crowd of San Antonio residents when he attended the city council meeting Wednesday night to speak on behalf of the ordinance.
Former Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva — a San Antonio native who was the first American service member seriously injured in the Iraq War when he stepped on a land mine in March 2003 and lost his right leg — was booed by the crowd when he remarked that he is gay.
The San Antonio city clerk’s office said the council is expected to vote on the ordinance on September 5.
Councilman Ron Nirenberg has issued a statement indicating that Jeff Bazen has been placed on “indefinite administrative leave.” Nirenberg also said he will support the proposed changes to the non-discrimination ordinance, adding protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
Elisa Chan has not returned calls or messages from LGBTQ Nation or other media outlets seeking comment.