LGBT Liaison in Castro's corner
Published: January 23, 2013
What else could the city do on the LGBT front?
A domestic partnership registry program, which is something we haven't really looked at here yet. It's basically a program where same-sex couples can go and register their relationship status in an official way, though it doesn't entitle them to benefits in the way marriage would in a state that's legalized gay marriage. But it's a way to show you're a committed couple, to have some sort of documentation the city puts out.
One of the things we're looking at, hopefully not too far down the road, is the establishment of a local human rights commission. It would extend far beyond LGBT issues, but would certainly cover that, too. It would look at discrimination within race, gender, the whole gamut. And the purpose of this commission would be to make sure we're abiding by the rules we already have on the books, and that SAPD's enforcing the laws in a way that lowers discrimination of minority groups in the city. It depends on what model we would take up, but in some cities that commission would actually hear complaints about discrimination happening that's happened in the city and recommend paths to address whatever the issue is.
How big of a problem is discrimination against LGBT folks in San Antonio?
Well, if you look at some of the comments that were posted in the [Express-News] story about my appointment alone, you'll see there's a certain segment of the population that still has very adverse reactions to gays, lesbians, and transgendered people. But the tide is changing. I think most people either have someone in their family or have friends who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. There seem to be pockets of opposition or prejudice, but I think it's a very small amount. I think overall we're a city that celebrates diversity.
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