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Just Happens to Be LGBT: New LULAC Chapter Focuses on LGBT Latina/os

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Founding members Sam Aguilera and Robert Salcido with first member Rosa Maria “Rosie” Gonzalez at LGBT LULAC’s first recruiting event


San Antonio will be the third Texas city to have an LGBT council, after Dallas and Houston. One of the biggest myths that Aguilera, a social worker by profession, wishes to dispel is the oft-cited “fact” that Latinos are inherently homophobic. “This is simply not true,” he says.

In a research study conducted by Bendixen and Amandi International, 83 percent of Latinos were found to support laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment. Further, 75 percent of Latinos showed support for school policies that prevent harassment and bullying of kids who are gay or lesbian or who may be perceived to be gay. The study can be found at Familia es Familia, a national public education campaign aimed at LGBT allies in Latino communities.

Although LULAC had for years been silent on matters concerning sexual orientation and gender identity, that trend began to change in 2006 when LULAC National condemned a federal marriage amendment that would have limited marriage to a man and a woman. That same year, the Dallas Rainbow council was formed. Since then, LULAC has supported causes such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and an inclusive federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Aguilera concludes, “Because every member of our council is a part of someone’s family, we’ll approach our work with the both Latino and LGBT communities with that consciousness.” Zuniga agrees. “For my partner and me,” she explains, “this is a way to walk the walk for our daughters. It’s a way to show them how to treat others the way they’d want to be treated and how to be active in our city and beyond.”

While the group is still forming, interested people should contact Sam Aguilera directly at (210) 918-0593 or at alamocitylgbtadvocate@gmail.com.

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