San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan has been getting a lot of public attention recently after the release of comments she made in private with her staff that reveal a stunningly ignorant level of homophobia and transphobia.
The text of her comments are today's Queer Quote:
I don’t think homosexual people should do adoption. They should be banned by adoption. You’re going to confuse those kids. They should be banned. If you wanted to choose that lifestyle, we don’t want to discriminate you, but you shouldn’t affect the young people….
We do not want to attack any group. I’m respectful of their choices, right? Even though I don’t believe that, but they’re free people, they can do whatever they want to do. But … don’t just come back and say you’re being discriminated.What is confusing to kids about seeing same-sex couples? Apparently Coucilwoman Chan believes (like many Russian people) that somehow if children know that gay people exist it will impact their adult sexual orientation. This belief has no basis in reality and is laughable on its face, since the converse is obviously not true (i.e. the fact that almost all LGBT people have been raised in heterosexual households and yet have non-heterosexual sexual orientations). The problem with this belief is that it can impact how people feel about public policy. In fact the political context of Chan's comments is that the San Antonio City Council is currently considering an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The comments came to light because one of Chan's staffer taped the comments and released it to the local San Antonio media, where it has been getting a lot of negative and critical attention.