Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Hookah Bar

Best Hookah Bar

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

Best Indian Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming weeks it will be important for you to bestow blessings and disseminate gifts and dole out helpful... By Rob Brezsny 8/27/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

Conservative Groups Mount Effort to Recall Council Members Supporting NDO

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

An effort to recall various council members and the mayor has been waged by conservatives

Photo: , License: N/A



Related stories


Life After the NDO: A primer for local LGBT activists

While the local LGBT community, basking in a recent historic win to combat city-sanctioned discrimination, consider council members who supported the non-discrimination ordinance tantamount to heroes, a small yet aggressive faction of conservatives slowly mount retribution for those members who cast a vote in favor of the ordinance.

During the NDO debate earlier this month, threats to members’ political lives abounded, with several anti-LGBT speakers taking the podium to guarantee swift revenge in the form of a recall election for not only the NDO’s key sponsor, District 1’s Diego Bernal, but Mayor Julian Castro and any other elected official on the dais unwilling to appease the religious and right-wing opposition. The effort to recall Bernal began before the vote was cast. Spearheaded by Weston Martinez of the Bexar County Conservative Coalition and Texas Freedom PAC, a group of residents went door-to-door with a clipboard, collecting signatures to oust Bernal from his seat in late August. Martinez says thousands of unreturned calls were placed to council offices to discuss their concern with the NDO, prompting them to take action. “That’s when we pulled the trigger on the recall. We had no other option to get their attention,” he said.

After council members in Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (plus the Mayor) cast ‘yes’ votes to include LGBT groups in the City’s current Non-discrimination ordinances, a similar strategy to unseat the majority of council began. Martinez says the plan ranges from knocking on doors to showing up wherever council members may be— from public and community meetings to member-hosted events—with the mission to collect signatures. The faction says they’re even planting themselves outside district field offices with the hopes of wrangling in more petitioners. The ordinance opponents need 6,000 signatures from registered voters (valid 180 days from the first signer) to begin the recall process for council members and 75,000 for Castro.

Bernal says the group is free to invoke their right to recall, but questions the legality of campaigning against the council members, “I’m not really convinced their efforts are necessarily legitimate. I can’t even put a campaign sign in the yard or in the front of my field office because it’s city property.”

With all the revisions meant to afford compromise to conservatives, Martinez admitted the NDO has been “watered down to a degree,” but in the same conversation said it was harsher than any other ordinance in the country, leading him to bring lawyers to the table to talk a possible suit.

Over the phone, Martinez echoed anti-NDO testifiers, who time and time again lambasted the parallels between the gay rights struggle and the mid-20th century battles against segregation and racial persecution. He delved into how many, including himself, found claims that the LGBT population experiences similar oppression as African-Americans did during the Civil Rights Era, “offensive.”

“Show me the Freedom Bus, show me the Woolworth’s store,” said Martinez. “Go see the new Oprah movie, The Butler. Is there discrimination? Yeah, I get discriminated all the time because I’m an Anglo-looking Hispanic, look at my name.”

Despite previous criticism from opponents that the NDO was a ‘political football,’ Martinez and the recall army seem perfectly content to play politics now. However, they won’t be able to rely primarily on a few large and/or out-of-town religious congregations to drive home the recall effort since the signatures can only come from each recall target’s district. The effort may backfire in another way, by making those members who supported the NDO seem all the braver in the face of this adversity.

“I’m confident in saying I’ve moved my district in the right direction,” says Bernal. “If these people want me out of office simply because I want to treat everyone in this city fairly and equally, it says more about them than it does about me.”

Recently in News
  • Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... | 8/27/2014
  • Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... | 8/27/2014
  • Mayoral Horserace Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget... | 8/27/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus