San Antonio Mayor Issues 'Sorry How It Made You Feel' Non-Apology

by Stephen Peters

Mayor Taylor should show that actions speak louder than words by fully implementing the city’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinance and urging the City Council to expand the law to protect all LGBT San Antonians

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called on San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor to take action by fully implementing the city’s non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) protecting LGBT people in city employment and contracting, housing, and public accommodations. HRC also called on Mayor Taylor to urge the City Council to expand the law to protect all LGBT San Antonians.

After attacking the recently-enacted NDO at a “faith forum” for mayoral candidates on Sunday, yesterday Mayor Ivy Taylor of San Antonio, Texas, attempted to smooth over the backlash she received following her comments with an incredibly weak apology – where she still refused to express support for the important city ordinance that it is her duty to implement. As part of her supposed apology, she said, “It was never my intent to insult or demean you and I am sorry for the pain and confusion my words have caused.”

“While Mayor Taylor may have issued something intended to be an apology, her actions speak far louder than words,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “If she truly supports the LGBT community in San Antonio, she should not only fully-implement the current law, but urge the City Council to expand the law to protect all LGBT San Antonians from employment discrimination, not just city employees and those doing business with the city. HRC joins Equality Texas in calling for better enforcement of the NDO and the creation of a mechanism for receiving and handling complaints.”

Mayor Taylor should immediately continue the implementation of the non-discrimination ordinance by completing the development of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as allocate funds for the hiring of a proposed staff person.

Taylor, a Democrat and former member of the city council who succeeded Mayor Julian Castro when he was appointed to President Obama’s cabinet, had sparked criticism after telling the crowd at the forum on Sunday, “I did not feel we should have even been debating that issue. I thought it was a waste of time.” Taylor voted against the ordinance when it was before the council. Mayor Taylor’s continued refusal to support the ordinance has been made clear by it’s poor enforcement.

Mayor Taylor’s shameful comments come at a moment when more than 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation are being considered by the Texas legislature.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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