Council members: Chan comments should not affect ordinance discussion

Secret recording has short and long-term impacts on Elisa Chan


SAN ANTONIO – District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan's reputation took a major hit Friday.

During a secretly recorded staff meeting on May 21, the councilwoman is heard making disparaging remarks about homosexuals. The recording was obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

Chan used words like "disgusting" and "crazy" and said homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt children.

"They gonna be confused," Chan said referring to children with homosexual parents. "You see two men go into a bedroom. You see two women kissing. Is that not confusing? It's confusing. It is actually what you call, umm, umm, suggestive, for the kids to be corrupt. You know? Whatever... Which is against nature. I'm telling you, anything that is against nature is not right."

District 1 councilman Diego Bernal said it should not affect the council's discussion of the non-discrimination ordinance.

"I certainly disagree with a lot of what she said, but that doesn't change what we're trying to do or trying to move forward," Bernal said.

During the recording, Chan discussed how to oppose the ordinance.

"You shouldn't want to win by obscuring the issue itself, that's important," Bernal said. "It does sound a little bit to me like maybe as a team confusion was part of the plan. I'm not sure of it I don't want to accuse them of that."

The short-term fallout from Chan's comments is clear, but UTSA political science professor Walter Wilson believes it could have a long-term impact should Chan seek a higher office.

"I certainly don't think it would hurt her in a future Republican primary necessarily," Wilson said. "One of the important characteristics of these sorts of comments is that there is no public persona to be hiding behind here, people will see these comments as the real Elisa Chan."

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