A San Antonio, Texas Councilwoman under fire for her vicious and uninformed homophobic and transphobic comments today responded publicly for the first time at a press conference. Councilwoman Elisa Chan opened the presser by attacking her former aide who secretly recorded the staff meeting during which Chan and several other staffers made the anti-LGBT remarks.
At the press conference, which ended just before noon, Chan refused to apologize, resign, or change any of her anti-gay and anti-trans views, and was applauded for those comments — which is a strong indication of the level of anti-LGBT vitriol in the Lone Star State. Chan also said she will not recuse herself from voting on the anti-discrimination ordinance.
Chan seemingly threatened her former aide, stating up front that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement, and characterized the meeting as both “confidential”and “routine.”
She repeatedly stood on the First Amendment, stating she has every right to hold and to voice her opinions, and claimed she was not asking anyone to share them.
“I stand strong in my First Amendment right to freedom of speech and our right to privacy. And as an immigrant, I consider this the greatest privilege of being a U.S. citizen,” Chan said. “My belief, my views are mine. I do not impose that on anybody else. I’m not asking anybody to agree with me.”
But a seat on any city’s city council means that you in fact, by voting on public ordinances, are not only asking, but with the full weight and force of law, are forcing people to abide by the weight of your opinions.
“I know many people find the comments made in the meeting offensive, but again, it was a confidential meeting set in the privacy of my office where none of us are suppose to worry about what we say,” Chan also claimed as her defense.
That May 21 meeting included her claim that she would pretend she did not know what being transgender is, and if needed she would tell constituents she voted against the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance and later looked up in Wikipedia what it meant.
“Even though the LBGT community and I do not share the same views,” Chan said, “I respect and support their personal freedoms and right to their lifestyle.”
You can hear Councilwoman Chan’s comments here: Listen: Secret Audio Reveals City Councilwoman’s Extreme Homophobia And Anti-Gay Strategies
But Chan does not, as she made clear in her meeting, support the personal freedoms of the LGBT community.
Watch Chan’s press conference:
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