A recording, secretly captured by a former aide of San Antonio District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, sparked outrage over its anti-gay content after it was leaked to the press on Thursday. In the recording, Chan and her staff members can be heard voicing personal, highly derogatory views on homosexuality.
James Stevens, the aid that released the audio, recorded a May 21 meeting in Chan’s office that was called to discuss an upcoming nondiscrimination ordinance. However, the meeting apparently revolved less around the ordinance than one may expect.
“My decision to record in the first place was that, during the staff meetings, we weren’t really discussing the ordinance itself,” Stevens said in an interview with San Antonio Express-News. “We were really just talking about ways to appeal to the (voting) base and to get them fired up as opposed to analyzing the ordinance…[Chan] is only focused on her political future. She’s not focused on the policy itself and how it’s going to really affect the city. We spent 80 percent of that meeting talking about how disgusting homosexuality is.”
In the recording, Chan can be heard saying that homosexuality and “non-traditional” sexual preferences are “disgusting to even think about.” She goes on to express her belief that sexual orientation is a choice—a “behavior preference”—and not something people are born with. Chan can also be heard saying that gay couples should be prohibited from adopting children.
“I don’t think homosexual people should do adoption,” Chan says on the recording. “They should be banned by adoption. You’re gonna confuse those kids. They should be banned. If you want to choose that lifestyle, we don’t want to discriminate you, but it shouldn’t affect the young people. How terrible that we actually allow them to adopt?”
“It is actually, what you call, suggestive, for the kids to be corrupt, which is against nature,” Chan continues. “I’m not telling you, anything that is against nature is not right.”
Chan can also be heard conversing with her staff about how legalization of same-sex marriage could lead to legalization of incest or bestiality.
When contacted about the recording, Chan maintained a level of ignorance.
“I think that’s in a private setting and I don’t know if that’s—I need to hear that recording to know,” she said to reporter Brian Chasnoff. “I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about so maybe you can play that back to me. We talk a lot of things in staff meetings, so I wanted to know also under what context.”