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The Pride Issue

San Antonio's Glacial Progress on LGBT Rights



Diego Bernal to the rescue?

Likewise, Graney and colleagues are working diligently to arrange face-to-face meetings with city officials to educate them on the issues, “It’s a communication problem. We feel like [the city is] not reaching out to us, and they say we’re not reaching out to them. It’s a two-way street,” he says.

Activists are also critical of the ordinance’s timeline, which they see as unnecessary elongated. Bernal sympathizes, noting that when it comes to civil rights you “shouldn’t have to ask anyone to wait,” but with the same breath, stresses the reality of the bureaucratic process, in which something as asinine as summer vacation can push back important issues until August or beyond. “A lot of people have read quite a bit into why we’re going to take it up in August, but it’s really a very simple and procedural thing,” said Bernal. “Even if it takes a little bit longer, we’re eventually going to get there and that’s what matters.”

But Bernal’s real critics are the city’s religious-right, who view the ordinance as either granting “special rights” to the LGBT community (false, the ordinance gives them the same rights as everyone else) and/or a blasphemous attack on so-called “traditional” values. Bernal is well aware of the potential political costs the ordinance’s passage may result in for him.

Eyeing the thunderstorm raging outside his council office, Bernal reflects on the controversial storm erupting because of his – apparently – wild-eyed idea that all San Antonians should be protected against discrimination. Mulling the personal and professional risks involved as the chorus against him mounts, the civil rights attorney concludes, “I don’t value my political career so much that it would keep me from doing what’s right.”

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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