LGBT activists balk at idea of Ivy
Taylor as interim mayor
QSanAntonio, June 16, 2014
Political activists in the LGBT community say they are concerned by the
news that City Councilwoman Ivy Taylor may be the frontrunner for the
post of interim mayor after Mayor Julian Castro leaves San Antonio to
take a position in President Obama's cabinet.
Last year, Taylor was one of three council members who voted against the
nondiscrimination ordinance angrily saying, “I have sacrificed a
lot to serve in this role on city council, but I will not sacrifice my
core values and (religious) beliefs for political gain or to be in alignment
with a particular platform. And if that was the expectation for me as
a black woman, (you’ve) got the wrong sister in this seat.”
Taylor's relationship with the LGBT community was already fragile prior
to her vote on the the nondiscrimination ordinance. In 2011 and 2013,
she sought the endorsement of the Stonewall Democrats but did not get
Ivy Taylor at the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio's
endorsement forum in 2011. (Photo QSanAntonio)
After the 2011 endorsement meeting, the San Antonio Current
wrote: "Perhaps what was most surprising about the day’s discussion
was that a sitting council member like Ivy Taylor would expose herself
as being so uncomfortable about LGBT issues. In response to a candidate’s
survey, Taylor said that if she were endorsed by Stonewall she would not
carry that endorsement on her website or campaign literature. 'Many in
our area would look at that as something that would be divisive,' Taylor
told the group."
“I don't think she's representative of this entire city," former
CAUSA co-chair Dan Graney told the San Antonio Express News on June 15.
"She doesn't support equality for LGBT people, and it's very bothersome.
I don't think she should spend one day in the mayor's office because of
"I strongly feel that any Council member who votes to deny a segment
of our population - MY people - nondiscrimination protections does not
deserve to be mayor of this city," Graney wrote later on Facebook.
In a reply to Graney's post, DeeDee Belmares, who served with Graney as
CAUSA co-chair, wrote, "We are tired of being denied basic rights
from elected officials like Ivy. Despite what other things she has done
for San Antonio, it is still a slap in the face that she is willing to
allow discrimination against a class of people.
Taylor told the Express-News "that if she were appointed mayor, she
would uphold the bolstered nondiscrimination ordinance and wouldn't work
to undo it."
“That ordinance passed, and it is the law of the land, and I don't
have an issue with upholding the law of the land,” she told the
newspaper. “We have other pressing issues. By no means would I be
interested in reassessing that.”
In a conversation with QSanAntonio, Graney said that even though the nondiscrimination
ordinance passed, there are still issues surrounding it that have yet
to be addressed.
One problem that has not been solved is how a complaint of discrimination
is filed and how it is handled by the city. In January, a transgender
man filed a complaint against AT&T but his petition has been mired
in procedural technicalities, the result being that his case has yet to
Last April, city attorney Robbie Greenblum promised the city would initiate
a web site with detailed instructions on filing an NDO complaint but so
far that promise remains unfulfilled.
LGBT activists also have said they would like to have the city create
a human rights commission to oversee discrimination complaints and to
enact a city-wide employment nondiscrimination act.
It is these "loose ends" that Graney says might languish if
Taylor were appointed mayor.
One community member who has no problem with Taylor as mayor is Randy
Bear, one of the founders of CAUSA whose blogs, Concerned Citizens and
Bexar Left and Right, are widely read.
Last May, Bear wrote:
"What if Councilwoman Ivy Taylor became the 'safe' candidate to shepherd
the city through the next several months, understanding the interim term
would not only be her last but also her chance to serve the city as mayor?
Personally, I feel this would be the best choice of council at this point
. . . She would also become the city’s first African-American and
second female mayor, both distinctions we should celebrate."
On June 15, Bear posted the following comment on Facebook:
"This is really a situation where a person's understanding of the
greater good of a community conflicts with a single issue. I never liked
Taylor's position on the NDO, but I also respect her as a community leader,
especially when dealing with the development of the Eastside and bringing
one of the few Promise Zones in the country to her district. It's a sign
of political maturity, in my opinion. If your decisions are focused on
a single issue, even after the person has pledged to support the will
of council, it's hard to take that position seriously in looking at what's
best for our city."
Graney told the Express-News that "the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community would likely reach out to council members and ask
them to consider appointing Councilman Ray Lopez, who voted in favor of
the ordinance in September."