Elisa Chan represents District 9 on the San Antonio City Council. She recently held a staff meeting behind closed doors to discuss the city’s proposal to include “sexual orientation” in its nondiscrimination ordinance. Chan and members of her staff did not hold back, expressing every disgusting stereotype, and ignorant, intolerant view you could imagine. The whole thing was secretly recorded on an iPhone by a staff member.
In the course of the discussion, one staff member insists that “consenting adults” implies freedom to marry one’s child or sibling, or even an animal. Chan also expresses her strong belief that homosexuality is a “choice,” LGBT citizens should not be allowed to adopt, and spewed her utter revulsion towards gays and lesbians:
“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.”
During a question about pansexuals, who are open to members of all sexual orientations or gender identities, Chan became downright befuddled:
“How can that be?
“I will say, ‘Strip down! What equipment do you have?
“I’m telling you. Crazy. We’re getting to crazy realm.”
The meeting was secretly recorded by Chan staff member, James Stevens, who resigned his job this week. On the tape, Stevens challenges Chan that her views will not be popular with the changing attitudes of the general public:
Stevens: “The newspaper will get to you.”
Chan: “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.”
Ripping a page from the Rick Santorum playbook, Jeff Bazan, Chan’s chief of policy, can be heard on tape:
“The road we’re going … incest and being able to marry animals, that’s all going to happen.
“You get the most political points by standing up for traditional values on this one. This is not an economic argument. This isn’t a small government argument. This is a social, cultural argument right here and … you’re going to score the biggest points by taking that stand.”
Chan rejects that idea and opts for a strategy that would conceal her true feelings and view on homosexuality from her constituents:
“This is my philosophy, guys…Whatever you want to do in your bedroom is none of my business, but do not impose your view on other people, especially becoming policy … because personally, I think it’s just disgusting just to even think about. All the definitions. …
“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.”
But Chan is unable to control her revulsion and immediately returns to spewing venom:
“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.
“If you wanted to choose that lifestyle, we don’t want to discriminate you, but you shouldn’t affect the young people. 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.”
“I’m respectful of their choices, right? Even though I don’t believe that, but they’re free people, they can do whatever they want to do. But … don’t just come back and say you’re being discriminated.”
Bazan has since left Chan’s office, and now works for another council member, and has tried to back away from his statements on the recording:
“I was basically explaining the viewpoint that some people have on the gay marriage issue. What I said was wrong and I deeply regret it. I can say that those comments, which were intended to be purely political, do not reflect my heart. Councilman Nirenberg, whom I currently serve and support, has made it clear that discrimination is not negotiable, and I am proud to work for him.”
Local and national LGBT groups have begun to protest Chan and have called for her immediate resignation.
Democratic Mayor, Julián Castro, said that Chan’s comments demonstrated a “level of bias and ignorance that’s astonishing.” Castro went on to say, “Some folks have wondered whether an update to the ordinance is necessary. This is a strong example of why it is necessary. Unfortunately, this type of attitude is out there, and sometimes it’s acted upon, and protections need to be in place when it is acted upon.”
LISTEN to excerpts here: