LGBT activist John Dean Domingue speaks before the
City Council on July 22, the day when Ivy Taylor was elected interim mayor.
(Video capture: TWC News)
Commentary: Reflections on Ivy Taylor's
election as interim mayor
By Dan Graney, QSanAntonio, July 24, 2014
At 8:15 am on July 22, 2014, I walked into City Council Chambers hopeful
that the City Council would make the right decision by electing an interim
mayor who would be representative of ALL the people of San Antonio, including
the LGBT community. By noon that day, I walked out in anger and disbelief
that the majority of Council members elected the one colleague who voted
against including LGBT protections in the Non-Discrimination Ordinance
last year – Ivy Taylor.
I felt a sense of deep betrayal by Council members who were champions
and supporters of the NDO last year but who voted for Ivy Taylor in the
first round of voting. I sensed that the contest would eventually boil
down to the two senior members of Council, Taylor and Ray Lopez, but I
never imagined that Taylor would emerge the victor.
After walking out of Council chambers, I asked myself, “what happened?”
Sure, it is wonderful to make history by electing the first African-American
woman as mayor of San Antonio, but why THIS African-American woman who
is no Sheila Jackson Lee or Ruth Jones McClendon when it comes to standing
on the right side of history on LGBT equality?
What happened to cause one of our strongest allies on Council to cast
his vote for Taylor in the first round when there were three other candidates
who voted for the NDO? Did something come up during the horse-trading
that went on behind closed doors to cause this Council member and other
NDO supporters to decide to throw the LGBT community under the bus and
cast their lot with Taylor?
Sure, Taylor did commit to a group of CAUSA members that she would uphold
the NDO, attempt to put procedures in place to implement it and appoint
a member of our community to be her LGBT liaison if she were elected mayor.
However, that is of little consolation to me, knowing that down deep inside,
she would have no problem with an LGBT person – even if it is an
African-American LGBT person or same-sex couple -- being denied service
at the lunch counter because somehow this might infringe on the restaurant
owner's religious beliefs.
Taylor has had a rocky relationship with the LGBT community for years,
beginning in 2009 when she first ran for mayor. At that time, she sought
the endorsement of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio and stated that
she would not list the endorsement on her website or campaign literature
because we were “divisive” to her constituents. Needless to
say, she did not get the endorsement. Nor was she endorsed in 2011 and
2013 when she ran for re-election, although in 2013 she did change her
tune by stating that she would list the Stonewall endorsement on her website.
In her candidate questionnaire, which she signed on March 15, 2013, she
also answered an unequivocal “yes” to whether she would vote
in favor of amending the city's non-discrimination ordinances to include
sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in city employment,
housing, public accommodations, city contracts and appointments to boards
and commissions. Based on that, I voted to endorse her (even though I
was outvoted at the Stonewall meeting) and contributed money to her campaign.
Less than 6 months later, however, she broke that promise by voting “no”
to those very protections in the NDO.
Citing personal and religious reasons for voting against including LGBT
protections in the NDO, Taylor punctuated her remarks with angry and vindictive
comments directed toward our community while merely stating that she “cringed”
at some of the hateful remarks uttered by NDO opponents. That really stung
me and others who had reached out to her in private, respectful conversations
prior to her vote.
After her “no” vote on the NDO, Taylor not once reached out
to the LGBT community to meet with or learn from them. I have never heard
her say the words “LGBT”, “gay”, “lesbian”
or “transgender.” She has always referred to us as “them”
or “those people.” She has been supportive of HIV/AIDS services
organizations like the San Antonio AIDS Foundation (located in her district)
and BEAT-AIDS, Inc., but not once has she attended any LGBT function such
as the HRC Gala or Equality Texas Brunch or marched in San Antonio's annual
Gay Pride Parade.
Dan Graney addresses the City Council
on July 22. (Photo: TVSA)
When the documentary film, “The New Black,” premiered last
month at the Carver Library and which depicted the relationship between
the African-American and LGBT communities, Precinct 4 County Commissioner
candidate Tommy Calvert was in attendance, but Taylor was not. Too bad,
because she could have learned something.
There are those both within and outside our community who are saying,
“get over it” and “she will only be in office for 10
months” and “she promised to uphold the NDO and even strengthen
its implementation, so what harm can she possibly do?” While there
may be truth to these admonitions (she IS our interim mayor, after all,
so I do need to move on and look toward the future), there is still something
in me that is crying out for more from Ivy Taylor.
Ideally, I would like to see her come before us and state that she has
“evolved” and apologize to us for her “no” vote
on the NDO. I would reach out to her, hug her and personally reconcile
with her. That is likely not going to happen, so what is the next best
I would then like to see her follow through on her commitment and appoint
an LGBT person from our community to be her liaison to our community.
I think that person should be African-American, since that is still one
of the most “invisible” components of our community here in
San Antonio. Whoever it is, it should be someone who has the respect and
trust of the LGBT community. Additionally, she should hire the best qualified
people for her staff, but it would be nice if at least one of them is
I would also like to see her meet with members of our community, hear
their stories and have an open and candid conversation about her religious
beliefs and how those render the LGBT component of who I am as a human
being less worthy of protection in private business settings than the
fact that I am also white, male, 65 years of age and living with a disability
I would also like to see her attend the HRC Gala or some other LGBT event
to show her interest and concern about human rights and the LGBT community.
Finally, I would like to see her become proactive in putting “teeth”
into the NDO by implementing procedures with the staffing necessary to
handle complaints of discrimination that arise under the NDO.
Those are some of the things I would like to see Ivy Taylor do to show
she really cares about representing ALL the people of San Antonio, now
that she is mayor. I am ready to move on and I trust she is, too. I can
only hope that we can both evolve together in the process.
selects Ivy Taylor as interim mayor
QSanAntonio, July 22, 2014
The San Antonio City Council selected Councilwoman Ivy Taylor as the interim
mayor of San Antonio.
The LGBT community should reconsider Ivy Taylor
By Marsha Warren, QSanAntonio, July 21, 2014
In the next few days, the San Antonio City Council will elect an interim
mayor. From the body of council, they will select from amongst themselves
the person who would become the one person who will represent all people
of San Antonio, regardless of their beliefs, ethnicity, cultural background,
or sexual orientation and gender identity. The person will serve as interim
until the next election in May 2015.I
down for Ivy Taylor from CAUSA
QSanAntonio, July 19, 2014
In a statement issued on Friday, July 18 CAUSA (Community Alliance for
a United San Antonio) did not endorse any of the four city council members
who are seeking the position of interim mayor. However, one sentence in
the statement made clear who they did not want to get the job.
issues statement on selection of interim mayor
QSanAntonio, July 18, 2014
CAUSA (Community Alliance for a United San Antonio) issued a statement
on Friday, July 18 regarding the selection of the interim mayor. Here
is the text of that statement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.