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LGBT opposition to Ivy Taylor persists as interim mayor selection nears
QSanAntonio, July 11, 2014

In just a few days, the City Council will begin the process of selecting the interim mayor. Within the LGBT community, there appears to be a consensus as to who should get the post: Anyone but Ivy Taylor.

From the first time Councilwoman Taylor's name was floated as the front runner for interim mayor, many LGBT activists made it known that they did not see her as a viable candidate because she voted against the nondiscrimination ordinance citing personal and religious objections.

Besides Taylor, other council members who have expressed interest in being interim mayor include Cris Medina, Ray Lopez, Ron Nirenberg, and Shirley Gonzales -- all of who voted in support of the NDO.

LGBT opposition to Taylor has grown more prominent on social media in the last few days with comment threads on some posts attracting scores of remarks expressing outright rejection of her.

That is not to say that Taylor does not have supporters in the LGBT community. Blogger and CAUSA co-founder Randy Bear and transgender political activist and one-time city council candidate Ruby Krebs are among those who think Taylor would fit the bill as interim mayor.

In mid-June, Bear wrote, "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."

In a Facebook post, Krebs says that despite what people may feel about Taylor, the nondiscrimination ordinance passed, the community should be "a gracious winner" and make peace with her especially since she's promised to uphold the ordinance and not work to undo it.

Such sentiments are the exception. For the most part, negative Facebook postings and tweets about Taylor are coming from a wide swath of the community.

Many of the posts cite her remarks before she voted "no" on the ordinance when she said among other things, “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."

Taylor met recently with members of CAUSA (Community Alliance for a United San Antonio). Krebs, who was at the meeting, posted on Facebook that Taylor said she would work on improving the process for filing nondiscrimination complaints to the city. She also agreed to appoint an LGBT liaison to her office if she becomes interim mayor.

When asked about her vote against the NDO, Taylor said she stood by the comments she made on the day the ordinance was passed.

Councilman Cris Medina and his wife wave to the crowd at the Pride Parade on July 5. (Photo: Lauryn Farris)

CAUSA also met with Councilmen Cris Medina and Ray Lopez both of who participated in Pride celebrations on July 5. Lopez opened the Pride festival by reading a proclamation designating Pride Day in San Antonio. Medina, who initially approached CAUSA to meet, rode in an open convertible with his wife in the Pride parade to cheers from the crowd.

A meeting with Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, which her chief of staff Choco Meza initiated with CAUSA leadership, is scheduled for July 14. Gonzales, a first-term council member, ran for office citing her support of the nondiscrimination ordinance. Her victory ousted incumbent David Medina, an Evangelical Christian who opposed the ordinance and who in 2011voted against domestic partner benefits for city employees.

Shirley Gonzales with campaign supporters at the Collins Gardens Library last year. (Photo: QSanAntonio)

CAUSA also reached out to Councilman Ron Nirenberg in hopes of meeting with him in the coming days. Last year, when he announced his support for the nondiscrimination ordinance Nirenberg said, "Every San Antonian deserves equal protection under the law, and I look forward to casting my vote to ensure it.”

City Councilman Ron Nirenberg (right) with Congressman Lloyd Doggett at the Equality Texas Spirit of Texas Brunch earlier this year. (Photo: QSanAntonio)

One prominent voice from the black community is warning that LGBTs should think twice about opposing Taylor. In a July 2 opinion piece in the San Antonio Current, Frederick Williams, author and adjunct professor at San Antonio College writes:

"This potentially damaging division between the two communities could lead to Taylor being denied this historic opportunity due to opposition from LBGT groups . . . If the LBGT community is held responsible for her failure to become mayor, it could give the homophobes in the black community even more ammunition to oppose LGBT citizens’ quest for equal rights, something they definitely deserve."

Blogger Charles Kuffner echoed the feelings of many in the San Antonio LGBT community when he wrote on his Off the Kuff web site, "There are good reasons to be skeptical of Ivy Taylor, so it’s on her to provide good reasons why that skepticism is no longer warranted."

Don’t deny Ivy Taylor’s chance to ‘evolve’
By Frederick Williams, San Antonio Current, July 2, 2014
Some residents from the LBGT community have publicly made it known that they oppose Ivy Taylor’s consideration by the council to serve as mayor in the interim before May’s general election.

In defense of Ivy Taylor
By Charles Kuffner, OffTheKuff.com, July 6, 2014
Ivy Taylor is a San Antonio City Council member. She’s currently considered a frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor Julian Castro once he leaves to become Housing Secretary. Her elevation to Mayor would be historic, as she would be the first African-American Mayor of San Antonio, but it has also generated some controversy because in 2013 she voted against expanding the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.

A Look To The Future, Not the Past
By Randy Bear, Bexar Left and Right, June 17, 2014
It seems that some within our city’s LGBT community don’t seem to be able to move past a vote taken almost a year ago with regards to the non-discrimination ordinance. One of the potential candidates for interim mayor, Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, is being rejected, not because of her work on council, but because of her vote on the ordinance, as if that one vote completely defined her council career.

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.

Commentary: The next mayor of San Antonio must support equality for all
By Dan Graney, QSanAntonio, June 17, 2014
I was recently quoted in the San Antonio Express-News as opposing the appointment of District 2 City Councilwoman Ivy Taylor as interim mayor after Mayor Castro is confirmed and sworn in as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. I just wanted to issue a statement that elaborates on why I think she does not deserve to be the mayor of this great city, not even for one minute.