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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 it.

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 it.”

"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 be assessed.

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."