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2012 DNC Keynote Speaker Mayor Julián Castro Rattles Community By Endorsing Anti-LGBT Councilman

by Jay Morris on April 3, 2013

in Discrimination,Elections,Jay Morris,News,Politics

Post image for 2012 DNC Keynote Speaker Mayor Julián Castro Rattles Community By Endorsing Anti-LGBT Councilman

San Antonio’s mayor, Julián Castro, rocketed to the national spotlight last year when he delivered the keynote address last August at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. In his speech, Mayor Castro told America, “Ours is a nation like no other, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation. No matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward.”

However, news has now broke that Mayor Castro’s path forward will likely leave many behind.

Beginning in June 2011, a group of grassroots activists joined together with the goal of bringing San Antonio forward on LGBT rights. Although the city is the seventh largest in the nation, it is the only major city in the state of Texas without prohibitions against discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. This group, now known as the Community Alliance for a United San Antonio (CAUSA) sought to change that.

Mayor Castro gave his blessing to the endeavor, but that’s about all the help that was given to this group by City Hall. In fact, grassroots activists were told that they must author the ordinance amendments, in spite of Councilman Diego Bernal’s pre- and post- election promises to support the amendments.

LGBT organizers were right to initially put their faith in Mayor Castro’s leadership. Historically, he has been a strong ally to LGBT people. In fact, he was the first mayor of San Antonio to appear in the Gay Pride parade as its grand marshal, signed a proclamation declaring November 20, 2012 as Transgender Day of Remembrance in San Antonio, and helped lead a budget initiative which provided domestic partnership benefits to San Antonio City Employees. He also proudly signed the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” petition supporting same-sex marriage, and wrote on his Facebook page:

Today I proudly joined the mayors of Houston, Austin, New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and more than 60 other American mayors of cities big and small in support of the ‘Mayors for the Freedom to Marry’ petition for same-sex marriage equality.

In spite of his past support for the LGBT community and as the election season heats up, his support seems to be wavering. For the first time, Castro has failed to complete an equality survey distributed by the Stonewall Democrats, in spite of numerous requests by the organization. As if pouring salt into the wound, news broke that he has now endorsed Councilman David Medina for re-election. Medina has a history of voting against pro-equality initiatives and has been known to obtain advice from people like Adam McManus, a former “Christian” radio show host and “strident homophobe.” This endorsement has further rattled LGBT supporters of Castro.

“We’ve waited long enough for action, and now the Mayor has endorsed someone who will undoubtedly vote against a human rights ordinance. With this endorsement, he has made it clear that human rights are no longer a priority of his office,” stated Mitsue McCoy, an organizer for GetEQUAL San Antonio. “We aren’t going to sit and wait any longer. Every day that goes by, more and more LGBT people are harmed by the lack of city, state or federal protections. It’s time we start holding our elected officials, even Mayor Castro, accountable for their broken promises and indifference. The Mayor’s leadership was our great hope and he spat on us.”

Mayor Castro is up for re-election, being one of seven candidates on the May 11, 2013 ballot, but his supporters are already preparing for a victory. Castro held his seat in the 2011 election with over 80 percent of the vote, a staggering victory.  However, his endorsement of David Medina and inaction on LGBT rights issues will likely be a factor in the upcoming election and may significantly lower the Mayor’s standing, particularly if any of his opponents take a strong stance in favor of LGBT rights.

In his keynote address at the 2012 DNC convention, Castro also noted that, “In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay.” Unfortunately for the people of the City of San Antonio, Mayor Castro seems to have dropped the baton.

Jay Morris is a State Lead for GetEQUAL.org, a founding member of the Direct Action Network San Antonio and blogger at jaysays.com. You can find him posting randomness on Twitter or engage him in conversation on Facebook.

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{ 14 comments }

LOrion April 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm

WHOOT He wants to be relected on a Pro Civil Rights agenda…. he better wake up.

sdfrenchie April 4, 2013 at 12:05 am

What happened? I saw Julian Castro and his Republican brother interviewed together on television. Although they had different ideals, they both seemed pretty decent and spoke eloquently. Has Julian Castro been threatened by someone higher up in the Texas legislature? Is he fearing for his life? There has to be a strong reason for him to curtail his support for the LGBT and that reason must be fear. Does he have something to hide that someone will expose if he continues in favor of LGBT? This obviously needs to be investigated more deeply.

SlappyisHappy April 4, 2013 at 7:53 am

Maybe Castro is driven by concerns other than solely the agenda of the LGBT community. I know that is a difficult concept for some to grasp.

ViewFromTheLeft April 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

Fighting for equal rights for a group that has been historically discriminated against is NEVER a concern for only that group, it SHOULD BE A CONCERN for ALL AMERICANS when freedoms are denied to some of us.
Sad that you don't see that.
I know that is a difficult concept for someone to grasp who's never been discriminated against in his/her life.

SlappyisHappy April 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm

"A concern" does not equal only concern. There are a laundry list of issues relating to economic growth, transportation infrastructure, healthcare, commercial development, etc… that are ALL important issues. Attacking the mayor by using the transitive property, in that he supports someone who he trusts to do the lionshare of the mayor's agenda, because that person he supports doesn't support your single issue agenda, is narrow minded.

ViewFromTheLeft April 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

You are incorrect. Narrow minded is not recognizing, as President Kennedy said, that so long as one man is not free, no man is truly free.
Marriage equality is NOT "solely the agenda of the LGBT community" – it is the agenda of all.
Too bad you don't recognize that.
Sad.

SlappyisHappy April 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Stop creating straw man arguments. #1 President Kennedy was a Catholic who most assuredly was against gay marriage. Was he discriminatory as well?

I didn't say that Marriage equality was solely the agenda of the LGBT community. I said that Mayor Castro would not govern based solely on the LGBT agenda. I believe that you are obviously engaging in single issue politics. The Mayor doesn't have a mandate to make the issue his #1 priority above all other considerations, though I'm sure he considers it one of many priorities.

It seems obvious that you don't care about other issues, like how David Medina could help the Mayor further his education/pre-K initiatives, help broaden the tax base in this city by encouraging entrepreneurship, improve public transportation, and encouraging community policing to decrease crime.

None of these other potential issues were mentioned by you because marriage equality is your one issue. And you will use it to hold vilify people and hold them in contempt because they disagree with you

JayJonson April 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm

He may coast to reelection in San Antonio, but this kind of endorsement will not help him or his brother nationally. He may be planning to run for governor or U.S. Senator from Texas where homophobia will be helpful to him.

robinsnyder September 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

San Antonio City agenda: “Councilmember Carlton Soules will be sworn-in a Mayor Pro-Tem, serving the term of August 30, 2013-November 8, 2013”

There is nothing as to why Mayor Julian Castro who was a keynote speaker at the Democratic national convention will be absent such a long time. Possibly due to cover-up with ACS and the Texas Ethics Commission investigation of Castro and San Antonio city council members.

Please read the linked stories below and consider investigating. News stories in San Antonio represent only what the city wishes the public to believe. Numerous and important facts are concealed and disregarded.

San Antonio, TX ACS false claims exposed http://www.examiner.com/article/san-antonio-tx-ac

Mayor Julian Castro ignores voters’ concerns in San Antonio, TX http://www.examiner.com/article/mayor-julian-cast

ViewFromTheLeft April 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm

You are incorrect again, Senator Kennedy was one of the biggest supporters of marriage equality for gay people, especially in the later years of his life, there is NO REASON why John would have been any different. The Kennedy family has ALWAYS stood for the rights of minorities, whether they be blacks or immigrants or gays.
You're an idiot and I certainly don't have time to post and respond and post and respond to someone I consider to be an idiot who doesn't understand that no one is free so long as one of us isn't free.
Don't go into civil rights law, dude, you're too disgusting and uncaring a person to be any good.
Good luck.

SlappyisHappy April 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Ad hominem attacks- last refuge of the intellectually defeated. Thank you for proving my point with your juvenile, emotional outburst. Your ideological credentials have been well preserved.

ViewFromTheLeft April 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm

no ad hominem attacks, just no time to go back and forth with a mental midget. now go back to sticking your head up your derriere while the grown up work to create a better America. You're nothing but a temporary bump in the road.

SlappyisHappy April 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

"No ad hominem attacks"…ad hominem attack…ad hominem attack.

You are the one who needs to grow up and learn how to defend your position with facts and logic.

The problem with single issue people such as yourself is that you distort the political process in such a way that other important issues are minimized and/or downright ignored.

Mayor Castro needs Medina's support for reelection to help promote a variety of initiatives. Start concerning yourself with something more than this one thing. The marriage equality issue is moving your way without you having to make a fool of yourself in the process.

ViewFromTheLeft April 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

dope.

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