SAN ANTONIO – Homophobic remarks by San Antonio District 9 City Councilwoman Elisa Chan were made public Friday morning in a published report by San Antonio Express-News staffer Brian Chasnoff.
Chasnoff says Chan aide James Stevens secretly recorded Chan's comments on May 21 during meetings with her staff to "discuss the city's proposal to update its nondiscrimination ordinance, adding protections for sexual orientation and gender identity."
Chasnoff says that Stevens no longer works for Chan.
In the 15-minute recording, Chan can be heard expressing her belief that homosexuality is a choice and that gays shouldn't be allowed to adopt, making derogatory comments about pansexuals, and calling homosexuality "disgusting" and "against nature."
KSAT-12 News attempted to reach out to Chan directly on Friday morning for a response to the recording.
Instead, Roger Legrand, Chan's chief of communications, released this statement:
"Councilwoman Chan left for a pre-planned vacation so she will not be available for comment. We will be putting out a statement once we have the opportunity to meet with the councilwoman. We are interested in hearing the unedited version of the alleged recording. The version online omitted some sections of the conversation."
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro issued this statement on Friday:
"Councilwoman Chan's misinformed, hurtful views do not reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of San Antonians. Ours is a city that respects and welcomes all people," Mayor Julian Castro said. "This attitude is precisely why we have to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance."
James Poindexter, secretary of Pride San Antonio Inc., released a lengthy statement in regards to the Chan recording. It reads, in part:
"Chan has been irresponsible and downright inflammatory in her statements. Whether the recording is of a staff meeting or a council meeting her statements are reprehensible and clearly show a lack of education, a lack of dignity, a lack of class, and above all a lack of a sense of duty to her constituency."
District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg released a statement on Friday that reads in part:
"Hate has no place in San Antonio. We cannot turn our backs on the existing divisions that have revealed themselves during this debate. We need to heal our divisions as a community, and we can only achieve that by revealing them and addressing them together."
KSAT will have much more on this developing story on our afternoon and evening newscasts..