San Antonio City Councilwoman Elisa Chan is entangled in a homophobia scandal after a former aide secretly recorded her and other staffers bashing gays as "disgusting" and saying gay marriage is a slippery slope toward legalized incest and bestiality.
James Stevens, who resigned from Chan's team this week, said he decided to record Chan after a May 21 office discussion about proposed updates to San Antonio's nondiscrimination ordinance went horribly astray.
"My decision to record in the first place was that, during the staff meetings, we weren't really discussing the ordinance itself," Stevens told San Antonio Express-News reporter Brian Chasnoff, to whom he leaked the recording. "We were really just talking about ways to appeal to the base and to get them fired up as opposed to analyzing the ordinance."
Stevens went on to say that Chan is "only focused on her political future" and "not focused on the policy itself."
Chan, who can be heard in the recording saying that whatever gay people do in their own bedrooms is "none of my business," can also be heard saying that gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles are "disgusting to even think about." She adds that she "never bought into" the idea that people are born gay, and that gay people shouldn't be allowed to adopt children because it will "confuse those kids. They should be banned."
At least some of Chan's staff was quick to dive into the stupidity, with someone at one point saying, "Little boys who are raised around a bunch of women, like, they were raised by mom and grandma ... a good percentage of them turn out to be gay." Chan's former chief of policy, Jeff Bazan, who now works as the chief of staff for a different city council member, is heard suggesting that the growing acceptance of gay marriage will lead to "incest and being able to marry animals, that's all going to happen."
Yesterday Bazan backpedaled on his comments, telling the San Antonio Express-News, "I was basically explaining the viewpoint that some people have on the gay marriage issue. What I said was wrong and I deeply regret it."
For her part, Chan has yet to apologize for her comments. When Brian Chasanoff reached out to her for a statement, the councilwoman initially pretended to not know James Stevens before offering this:
I think that's in a private setting and I don't know if that's—I need to hear that recording to know. I'm not quite sure what you're talking about so maybe you can play that back to me. We talk a lot of things in the staff meetings, so I wanted to know also under what context.
It's worth noting that the piece of legislation Chan and her staff were discussing would add veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity to the list of things protected by the city's nondiscrimination policy in its hiring practices. Their chat proved to be a perfect example of why the updated ordinance is so necessary.