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Stories | Year in the Life of Gay San
Community Leadership Award-- Gay
Pride San Antonio
Gay Pride San Antonio, the organization that stages the annual Gay Pride
Parade and Block Party is to be commended. Under the leadership of its
president Philip Barcena and his partner James Poindexter, the parade
has grown from a ten-minute march to a colorful spectacle lasting more
than an hour and attracting thousands of parade watchers. Barcena also
reached out to the organizers of PrideFest and patched up the rift that
occurred years ago when the parade became an event separate from PrideFest.
Together both events effectively anchor Pride Month in the city and San
Antonio now has a parade that befits the seventh largest city in the nation.
City Manager Sheryl Sculley (second from left) with
members of the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio.
Civil Service Award -- City Manager
Speaking before the Stonewall Democrats in October 2006, City Manager
Sheryl Sculley said, "Change is difficult but we all can change to
make a better city." For the gay community this has meant inclusion,
for the first time, in community panels that Sculley organized to enhance
the quality of life in our city. Last January, Sculley, working with city
attorneys and the City-Council-appointed Affirmative Action Committee,
helped amend the City of San Antonio’s anti-harassment and discrimination
policy to include sexual orientation as a protected classification. City
employees can no longer be fired for being gay. Despite efforts by attorney
Robert J. Bozelli and a KSLR Christian radio talk show host to chastise
Sculley for her actions, the new policy remains intact.
San Antonio Human Rights Campaign Governors George
Page, Elizabeth Schleigh and Darrell Parsons.
Community Activism Award -- Human
The local chapter of the Human Rights Campaign and its Governors are to
be congratulated for the level of local community activism shown by its
members this year. Emerging from its cocoon of the past few years, HRC
has become a higher profile player in local events and politics. HRC members
are showing leadership in organizations like the LGBT Chamber of Commerce
and the Stonewall Democrats, and hosting community-wide events like the
Election Night watch party. Encouraging too is the enormous growth of
HRC’s Ladies on the Loose a monthly event that now has it’s
own newsletter and a following of hundreds of women from across the city.
We Can’t Be Bothered
with Gays Award -- S.A. City Council
It seems as though that the members of the San Antonio City Council don’t
show much interest in the gay community unless of course they need their
votes. This year, organizers of the Gay Pride San Antonio Parade invited
the ten members of the City Council to participate. Not one single City
Council member accepted the invitation including three Council members
who asked for an endorsement from the Stonewall Democrats. Most members
did not even bother to respond to the invitation. Mary Alice Cisneros,
the District 1 City Councilwoman who represents the gayest neighborhoods
in the San Antonio, was the most notable absence. The lack of political
courage shown by the City Council was partially offset by the participation
in the parade by Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, State Representative Leticia
Van de Putte, Judge Monica Guerrero and Dr. Fernando A. Guerra, Director
of Health at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
Hate Mongering Award
-- Rev. James Hagee
When the Chamber of Commerce talks about making San Antonio a "world
class" city it probably doesn’t realize how a "world class"
bigot like the Rev. James Hagee can ruin the city’s national profile.
Hagee, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio gained notoriety
last year by saying that Hurricane Katrina was caused by the "level
of sin" by gays in New Orleans. Hagee has also made disparaging remarks
about women, blacks, Muslims and Catholics. This year, Republican presidential
candidate John McCain sought Hagee’s endorsement only to reject
it when the preacher’s hate speech was revealed in the media. Hagee’s
bombastic intolerance is a source of embarrassment for San Antonio and
all its citizens.
Foot in Mouth Award
-- Chris Marrou
This is the second Foot in Mouth Award for KENS-TV news anchor Chris Marrou
who often adds his personal comments to news stories. In 2006, Marrou
caused a a stir by saying that the actors in the movie "Brokeback
Mountain" should compete for best actress awards. This year, Marrou,
after hearing the weather report on a particularly hot and humid spring
day, commented that the temperature made his daily run unbearable. "It’s
so humid," he said, "its like jogging in Rosie O’Donnell’s
armpit." Like we asked in 2006, Chris -- why don’t you just
read the news and keep the smarmy comments to yourself?
More 2008 Year in Review
Top Ten GLBT
News Stories | Year in the Life of Gay