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Police Chief under fire by anti-gay "Christian" zealots
QSanAntonio, July 31, 2007

A group of anti-gay "Christian" zealots plans to speak before the San Antonio City Council on Thursday, August 2 to express their displeasure to the Mayor and City Council regarding Police Chief William McManus’ participation as grand marshal in the S.A. Gay Pride Parade on July 2. The protest is being staged by the same KSLR AM "Christian" radio talk show host who last year organized the three H-E-B pickets and the failed boycott of that grocery chain.

KSLR listeners are being asked to come before the City Council and speak during the "Citizens to be Heard" portion of the meeting to demonstrate their "objection to Police Chief McManus, using his influence to legitimize homosexual sex which is unnatural, unhealthy and unbiblical." The protesters will be asked to stand as a group while they present their complaints to the Council. Ironically, participants are being asked to be "polite and Christ-like" when they make their anti-gay speeches.

This is the second time this radio station has attacked Chief McManus for his participation in the gay parade. The last time was at the end of June, just before the parade took place. At that time many of those "Christians" posted remarks to a blog on WOAI.com where some of the comments were patently un-Christ-like, bordering on hate speech. The attacks on the Chief continued on KSLR for several days after the parade had taken place.

Since his tenure in San Antonio began, Chief McManus has reached out to the GLBT community to help improve what in the past had been a rocky relationship. He has met with community groups, initiated GLBT sensitivity training at the Police Academy, and has, in general, made it clear that he will not tolerate anti-gay behavior by the police force. In fact, on August 9, about a dozen GLBT citizens will be conducting a daylong class at the Police Academy as part of an "in-service training" for police officers.

QSanAntonio is asking its readers to show their support of Police Chief William McManus and for equality for all citizens in San Antonio by contacting the Mayor and their City Councilperson. Click here to send them an email: Mayor & City Council.

If possible, please consider attending the City Council meeting on August 2, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Plaza Building. The entrance is in the pedestrian walkway just north of San Fernando Cathedral. You also can register at the Municipal Building to speak before the City Council between 8 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. on Thursday, August 2. Several GLBT groups are organizing support for the Chief and will have some of their members in attendance.

KSLR’s "Christian" hate-fest takes the podium at City Council meeting
QSanAntonio, August 3, 2007

A rude and noisy crowd of "Christian" zealots, organized by KSLR Radio, went before the Mayor and the City Council on August 2 and treated them to evening of hard and soft core gay bashing. While the main purpose of the visit was to express their displeasure at Police Chief’s William McManus’ participation as Grand Marshal of the Gay Pride Parade, many of those who spoke used the occasion to make public their revulsion of all things "homosexual." At times, their expressions of disgust were couched in terms that were less than "Christ-like."

The Council chamber was filled to the brim, with KSLR’s rowdy "Christians" taking up about two-thirds of the seats. There were many families with small children in tow, numerous jeering bullies, and one man who waved a large crucifix whenever someone with a differing opinion stood up to speak.

The atmosphere took on the air of a Fascist circus when 45 teens from the Christian Boot Camp were paraded out in camouflage uniforms, marched up the center aisle of the Council chamber and made to stand at attention when the group’s main organizer took his turn to speak.

The "Christians" heckled the white-haired, 75-year-old Yvonne Jonas, president of PFLAG while she addressed the Council. They jeered at Rev. Mick Hinson, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church when he spoke of his family and defended Chief McManus. For a group that was purportedly there to spread the message of Christ, the KSLR group seemed to lack basic civility and human kindness.

The anti-gay speakers pulled no punches. One Mexican-American man used the word "jotos" a pejorative term equivalent to "faggots" to describe gay people. Terms like "pernicious sickness," "disgusting," and "pedophiliac" were used openly and freely. One lady angrily intoned that the Police Chief had no business leading a parade filled with "murderers and drug dealers." Another woman presented a "divine proclamation" which she said God had given her the day before.

When group’s puffed-up main organizer took the podium he lambasted the Chief of Police for endorsing the "homosexual agenda." Didn’t the Police Chief know that homosexuals spread disease and had sex in public bathrooms he asked? Didn't he know he was setting a bad example for the children of San Antonio? And what made the Chief so special that he "could ride in an open convertible waving like some Miss America" in a parade where "fruit flavored condoms" were being distributed?

The "Christians" appear to have won the shouting match but they also succeeded in proving that intolerance, homophobia and blind fanaticism are alive and well in San Antonio and especially at KSLR "Christian" Radio.

Voices of support for our Police Chief
QSanAntonio, August 3, 2007

Several GLBT activists took to the podium on August 2 to defend Police Chief William McManus before the Mayor and the City Council despite the hostile atmosphere created by the KSLR "Christians." Here are excerpts of what some of them had to say.

"As someone raised Lutheran/Catholic/Christian and versed in the Gospels, I do not understand the alleged "family values" touted by those who seek to censure Chief McManus. I do know that in all my training and experience as an investigator, those who yell the loudest usually have the most to hide."
-- Pam DelaBar, Member, Stonewall Democrats & American Veterans for Equal Rights

"I am here to say, as a member of the straight community, that is seems some unloving people are complaining about our Chief of Police being in our GLBT Parade that was held on July 2. Our city is moving forward, we need to be helping each other rather than trying to hurt others."
-- Yvone Jonas, President, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, S.A.

"We support the City Council and the recommendation of City Manager Sheryl Sculley for presenting Chief William McManus’ name for hiring of that position. One of our own Stonewall Democrat members was on the committee for screening the candidates. We hope that this Council will continue to support Chief William McManus for the professional and excellent job that he is doing."
-- Roberto Flores, Co-chair, Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio

"The poet Audre Lord once said, ‘It is not our differences that divide us, it is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.’ Perhaps the city of San Antonio should take Chief McManus’ lead and celebrate those differences."
-- Phillip Barcena, President, Gay Pride San Antonio

"When I heard about this protest, I wondered why there is objection to Chief McManus? He’s been a great Police Chief. You all know that. I concluded that this isn’t about the Chief at all. He’s just collateral damage in an on-going crusade against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people."
-- Julia DeGrace, Member Political Committee, Human Rights Campaign S.A.

"Please support Chief McManus against the ignorance of extremists. As Police Chief, he is responsible for the safety of all San Antonio citizens, including the LGBT community. His outreach to the LGBT community is an example of best practices used by major metropolitan cities in Texas and across the country. Training police officers to better serve the community is a benefit to all San Antonio citizens and builds trust between officers and respective communities. This trust fosters support of police work and strengthens the community by reducing crime."
-- Equality Texas, excerpt from email sent to thousands of members in San Antonio

"As a father, a clergyperson, and as a Christian gay man, I am overwhelmed with appreciation for the courage, strength of character, high moral and ethical fiber , that Chief McManus exhibited in the simple act of taking part in a parade. His active commitment to recognize all people as citizens entitled to equal protection and inclusion under the law is admirable and should be lifted up as an example for all to follow. I am filled with great joy, knowing that we have a chief of police who really cares and takes his oath seriously to protect and defend all citizens within his charge. "
-- Rev. Mick Hinson, Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church

You have to wonder why they hate us so
By Julia DeGrace, HRC S.A., QSanAntonio, August 4, 2007
Following is the text of an address presented before the San Antonio City Council on August 2 when local "Christians" protested Police Chief William McManus’ participation in the Gay Pride San Antonio Parade.

I came here tonight because Adam McManus called for Christians to protest Police Chief William McManus being the Grand Marshal of the Gay Pride San Antonio Parade.

I was on North Main that Sunday evening. There was unusual behavior there. Some grown men were holding hands and I saw some women kissing other women. Some fashion choices were strange. Young men in the back of a pickup truck were wearing only briefs or Speedos; and a grown man wearing go-go boots and a miniskirt, with way too much makeup on and carrying a parasol.

Those are not fashion choices I would make. BUT -- you know what? No one was fighting, or being obnoxious with their language. No one was being hurt. No one was preaching hate. No one was urging passersby to learn how to become homosexual or transsexual. They all seemed quite happy and were having a good time: Except one man walking on the other side of the street, carrying a big sign that read, "The Wages Of Sin Are Death."

What did he mean by that? We’re all going to die. It happens in the natural course of life. Did he mean that everyone dies naturally because everyone is a sinner? Or did he mean to imply that the people on the other side of the street, displaying activity he disapproves of, might somehow come to a swift, premature death?

When I heard about this protest, I wondered why there is objection to Chief McManus. He’s been a great Police Chief. You all know that. I concluded that this isn’t about the Chief at all. He’s just collateral damage in the on-going crusade against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

You have to wonder why they hate us so. They don’t even know us. This is certainly not a lifestyle choice. Twenty-first century medicine and science have determined that we are just born this way and there isn’t a darn thing we can do about it. I can’t any more change my being transgendered and lesbian than I can change being 5-foot-11. God made us this way and I believe that God loves everything he has made.

You’re going to hear that the Chief is endorsing immoral behavior. I put to you that he is just acknowledging the right of a minority of our citizens to have police protection, just like everyone else.

For years, the majority of us have hidden our secrets for fear of the consequences of discovery. As more and more of us come out, others gain the courage to come out as well. So our numbers are far greater than you might imagine. We live in the community, work, pay taxes, support local organizations, do volunteer work and are for the most part good citizens. And we also turn out to vote.

An open letter in support of Police Chief William McManus
By Toby Johnson, QSanAntonio, August 2, 2007
Following is a letter sent to Mayor Phil Hardberger in response to local religious extremists' plans to protest before the City Council regarding Police Chief William McManus' participation last July in the Gay Pride Parade.

Dear Mayor Hardberger: I am writing in support of Police Chief McManus's participation in San Antonio's Gay Pride celebration last month. As one-time chair of the San Antonio Gay Alliance and openly-gay psychotherapist and AIDS educator in the early days of the gay men's health crisis (mid-1980s), I can testify that positive affirmation by city officials of gay people's role in the life of the city is certainly good for members of our community.

Virtually all of the "problems" the gay/lesbian community suffers from--and is villainized for by conservatives--originate from low self-esteem and what is called in psychotherapeutic lingo "internalized homophobia." Countering that homophobia with human respect and positive regard helps resolve those problems.

Chief McManus has a personal history of being gay-supportive in other cities where he has served honorably. His history and his own personal freedom to believe in and support cultural trends he resonates with gives him the right as a free American to participate in the Gay Pride events without condemnation by religious hate groups.

It is difficult to imagine that Jesus Christ would behave like the Chief's namesake at the "Christian" radio station. Jesus taught love and forgiveness and acceptance. In chapter 8 of the St. Matthew gospel and 7 of St. Luke, Jesus is recorded as healing the male consort of the Roman Centurion at the Centurion's request. Jesus was not anti-homosexual in his own day. He certainly wouldn't be if he were alive today.

Adam McManus does not represent true Christianity.