San Antonio Councilwoman Defends Homophobic Comments Made In Secret Recording

Republican Elisa Chan called homosexuality “so disgusting,” said homosexuals aren’t born gay, and said that they shouldn’t be allowed to adopt. In her first comments Monday, she said she is entitled to her opinions by the First Amendment.

1. Elisa Chan, a councilwoman for District 9 in San Antonio, Texas, defended comments she made in a recording that was leaked to a newspaper, where she railed against homosexuality.

2. Her comments were recorded during a closed meeting regarding San Antonio’s nondiscrimination ordinance:

“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. 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.”

3. On the recording, she called homosexuality “so disgusting,” said homosexuals are not born gay and they shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children.

DeAnne Cuellar-Cintron

4. Chan will be voting on proposed changes to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance that would extend protection to sexual orientation.

5. George Takei took to his widely popular Facebook page to condemn Chan’s remarks.

6. Marine Eric Alva, the first American wounded in Iraq when he lost his leg after stepping on a mine, recently spoke in support of the ordinance and was booed by religious protesters.



7. He told BuzzFeed Chan’s comments are indeed protected by the first amendment, but she was wrong not to apologize for what she said:

We’ve gone away from a sense of respect and human kindness that citizens should have for each other. We’re all entitled to rights and beliefs but it’s a shame that she doesn’t see the other side. She doesn’t apologize in her comments at all. It would be the same if someone were making discriminatory remarks against her for being Asian. It’s disrespectful, it’s harmful, it does instigate hate against groups.

8. “That’s the aggression we were fighting in Iraq against Saddam Hussein,” Alva continued. “She’s saying she’s superior to people who don’t see things the way she says they are.”


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Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
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