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
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013

Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014

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The Pride Issue

San Antonio's Glacial Progress on LGBT Rights



Diego Bernal to the rescue?

While the non-discrimination plan makes its way to the council’s agenda this August, some still feel the process is moving glacially, a product of local government’s long-standing failure to fully include and engage the LGBT community.

Not everyone at City Hall has seen eye-to-eye on the ordinance’s necessity, says Bernal. “In my mind, we [candidates and elected officials] had been thinking about it and talking about it for a long time… I was wrong in that assumption, let’s just put it that way.”

The ordinance’s progress – or lack thereof – is perhaps a microcosm of the city’s own evolution as an LGBT-friendly environment. With a progressive mayor at the helm, outspoken about marriage equality, and a councilmember serving as a receptive conduit to the gay community, San Antonio may finally be making the headway activists have long hoped for – albeit incremental and overdue.

“I feel like being safe to come out [as gay, lesbian, or transgendered] here is a very recent development,” says Bernal. “Forget the ordinance and politics, I think the atmosphere has evolved at a slow but steady rate. We’re at a point now where everyone knows someone that’s part of this community and so the issue has become personal for many people.”

Dan Graney with Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio remembers when a moment like this felt far out of reach. In 1998, the City attempted to protect municipal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, but swiftly retreated following condemnation from a vocal and organized opposition. “The religious right came out as a mob and slammed it as immoral,” says Graney. “The council got intimidated and pulled it from the agenda.”

CAUSA revived their call for the non-discrimination ordinance about two years ago but the City’s move to pass domestic partner benefits, strictly for city employees, temporarily drowned them out. Today, gay rights activists refuse to sit quietly by, showing up to council meetings in droves and usually outnumbering the other side – a feat once unimaginable.

“What’s happening now would not have happened 15 years ago. At the time, our community only had three or four speakers, we didn’t have anywhere close to the numbers we have now… We’ve come a long way,” Graney says.

Graney attributes the marked shift to “courageous” new local leadership (chiefly Mayor Julián Castro and Bernal) as well as the appointment of an LGBT liaison to SAPD and more recently, in city hall. Shortly after the sting of a below-average 2012 municipal equality index (MEI) ranking by the Human Rights Campaign, the mayor’s office named senior policy advisor Adam Greenup as the go-to for the LGBT community at the start of this year. Coming in behind any other major city in Texas, San Antonio scored 48 out of 100 when evaluated for LGBT inclusion in municipal law. For a city whose mayor gained national notoriety for championing gay rights, including marriage equality, the failing grade startled City Hall.

The Pride Issue 2013
  • Review of the Revamped Luther’s Cafe Luther’s Café has been around since 1949. I came upon it much later, thank you very much, when it was still the kind of greasy burger joint where you... | 6/26/2013
  • A Story and a Study of Queer Realities Lester Briggs has just finished a five-year prison sentence for stealing, of all things, a church, and travels to Rockport, Tex., to find the love... | 6/26/2013
  • Can SA’s “Gay Dollar” Make Policy Impact? Money talks, but does it make a sound if no one is listening? San Antonio LGBT consumers pack enough buying power to bankroll the entire city budget for a... | 6/26/2013
  • San Antonio's Glacial Progress on LGBT Rights One by one, activists, family members, and allies of LGBT San Antonians stood before their councilmembers, demanding the gay community be treated as more... | 6/26/2013
  • Drag's New Dawn in SA At first, it’s the bone structure that tips me off. Then, the thick, full lips. But ultimately, it’s the way he walks with unmistakable precision through... | 6/26/2013
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