We realize it’s in Texas, but even by that standard, things are pretty ugly down in San Antonio, where the city council is considering a nondiscrimination ordinance. For example, take the case of Eric Alva. Alva is a gay Marine veteran who lost a leg while serving in Iraq. So when Alva testified in favor of San Antonio’s nondiscrimination audience, you’d think he’d at least get a respectful reception. Instead. Alva was booed by audience members who objected to his support for the measure.
In a Facebook post, Alva said that the response made him feel like crying. “I have never seen a city so divided and hateful towards each other,” Alva wrote. “All of mankind should be ashamed. I already spoke and even some of the religious groups even boo’ed me as I spoke. Such disrespect as they preach the word of God.”
Alva was the first American to be injured in the Iraq war, when he stepped on a landmine. He has been a leading proponent of the nondiscrimination ordinance, which the religious right equates with Armageddon. After his appearance, he did get words of support from author Anne Rice, who posted a comment on Facebook. “A soldier loses a leg in combat, and is later booed by his fellow Americans because he is gay,” Rice wrote. “I’m appalled.”
Of course, it’s no wonder the atmosphere is poisonous when you have folks like Councilwoman Elisa Chang caught on tape saying that LGBT people are “so disgusting.” Chan finally responded to the brouhaha her remarks set off by not apologizing. In essence, Chan paints herself of the victim and claims her First Amendment right to be a complete homophobic jerk in private.
“The comments from the staff meeting on May 21st were and are my personal opinions and thoughts as guaranteed to me by the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Chan said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that a former member of my D9 Council team betrayed the trust of my staff members and me. I will fight, I will always fight for our freedom of speech, especially in a private setting.”
In other words, she was quoted correctly.