2014 in Review: A Year in the Life of ‘Q’ S.A.

2014 in Review - Newsmakers: Therese Huntzinger ran for District Attorney. Jody Bailey Newman was Fiesta Cornyation's first Queen Anchovy. Matthew Hileman filed the first complaint under the city's newly revised nondiscrimination ordinance. Marsha Warren was appointed the LGBT liaison to Mayor Ivy Taylor's office. Robert Salcido is Equality Texas' first San Antonio community organizer and sits on the boards of Pride Center San Antonio, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce and LULAC Orgullo. Janet Burrage Grigsby received the Human Rights Campaign's Chuck Jordan Award for lifetime advocacy.

A select month-by-month recap of stories about our community reported here and elsewhere in 2014.

JANUARY

From NDO to MLK — Two communities fighting for equality
Some people were not happy to see the Rainbow flag at the Martin Luther King, Jr. March.

No questionnaire, no Stonewall endorsement for Wendy Davis
The Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio stuck to their rules and voted not to endorse Wendy Davis for Governor because she did not fill out a questionnaire prior to the group’s candidate forum in January.

Huntzinger’s near miss
Therese Huntzinger, a seasoned attorney and out lesbian, announced she would run in the Democratic primary in the race for San Antonio District Attorney. She lost the race by a very small margin to Nico LaHood.

FEBRUARY

Megachurch offers welcoming space to gay and lesbian worshippers
The San Antonio Express- News reports that City Church’s Sunday service offer a cross-section of San Antonio including gray-haired retirees, mid-career parents, young professionals, and LGBT worshippers.

LGBT community jubilant as judge strikes down state’s same-sex marriage ban
Members of San Antonio’s LGBT community were jubilant on February 26 when news that Judge Orlando L. Garcia of the United States District Court declared that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Local production ‘I-DJ’ performed in NYC
The play by Gregg Barrios, and starring Rick Sanchez, follows a gay Chicano DJ named Warren Peace as he looks back on the music and events that helped shape him. The show was staged at the Frigid New York Fringe Festival.

MARCH

NDO opponents finally concede defeat
Opponents of the city’s recently enacted nondiscrimination ordinance finally raised the white flag admitting defeat in their efforts to overturn the measure and recall the mayor and City Council members, most notably Diego Bernal, who voted to approve it.

Three Democratic LGBT candidates fail to win needed primary votes
Three of the four San Antonio LGBT candidates who were running for office in the March 4 Democratic primary failed to garner enough votes to compete in the May runoff or the November general election.

S.A.’s first Queen Anchovy
Jody Bailey Newman, who with her husband Steve Newman owns the Friendly Spot Ice House became the first Queen Anchovy to reign over Fiesta Cornyation along with Steve who was crowned King Anchovy.

APRIL

S.A. transgender pioneer Christie Lee Littleton Van De Putte dies
Chistie Lee Littleton Van De Putte, a San Antonio transgender woman who in 1999 was denied the status of a surviving spouse after her husband’s death because she was born a man, died on March 15.

Transgender woman claims cosmetology school discriminated against her
Lindsey Fahlberg said she went to enroll in Ogle School of San Antonio but she didn’t feel welcome. “I cried. I mean it was my second time ever being told something because of my gender identity,” she told the media.

Man acquitted in hatchet murder of roommate
A man who had been awaiting his murder trial for nearly four years was set free after jurors agreed with his defense attorneys, who argued he fatally struck his roommate in the head with a hatchet only after the man tried to rape him.

MAY

Realtor challenges PAC on anti-LGBT endorsements
A gay realtor from Plano organized meetings in San Antonio and around the state to make LGBT realtors aware that the Texas Association of Realtors and its funding arm, the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee, have endorsed and given donations to anti-LGBT candidates.

Wolff moves swiftly on policy changes to benefit county’s LGBT employees
When Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff spoke in January at the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio’s candidate endorsement forum, he talked about policy changes he wanted to make which would be beneficial to the county’s LGBT employees. Four months later, his efforts found widespread acceptance.

Castro departure bittersweet for LGBT community
News that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro would head to Washington, DC to take a cabinet post in President Barack Obama’s administration left many in the LGBT community with mixed feelings about his departure.

JUNE

LGBT Chamber debuts online publication
The San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce unveiled a new online publication that organizers say highlights the positive developments in the city’s LGBT community.

LGBT activists balk at idea of Ivy Taylor as interim mayor
Political activists in the LGBT community say they are concerned by the news that City Councilwoman Ivy Taylor may be the frontrunner for the post of interim mayor after Mayor Julian Castro leaves San Antonio to take a position in President Obama’s cabinet.

Reward increased in murder of San Antonio gay man
An anonymous donor helped increase the reward to anyone who can provide information regarding the murder of a gay man who in 2012 was found dead in in his home in the 2700 block of Wilborn on San Antonio’s Northeast Side.

JULY

Lesbian couple escorted out of bar because they kissed
A lesbian couple in San Antonio say they were asked to leave Sanchez Ice House because they had kissed.

It’s thumbs down for Ivy Taylor from CAUSA
In a statement issued on July 18, CAUSA (Community Alliance for a United San Antonio) did not endorse any of the four city council members who are seeking the position of interim mayor. However, one sentence in the statement made clear who they did not want to get the job.

UTSA adds Gene Elders’ journals to LGBT archives
The University of Texas at San Antonio added the journals of artist and activist Gene Elder to its UTSA Libraries Special Collections section dedicated to local gay history.

AUGUST

Equality Texas hires Robert Salcido as San Antonio field organizer
Equality Texas executive director Chuck Smith confirmed on August 5 that the organization hired Robert Salcido as a field organizer who will be based in San Antonio.

Gay and bisexual men account for almost half of all syphilis cases in Bexar County
Statistics released by the Texas Department of State Health Services reveal that gay and bisexual men in Bexar County account for almost half of all cases of syphilis reported in 2013.

Ranchera treasure ‘La Perla Tapatia’ dies at 83
Golden age ranchera singer Janet Cortez, known to her fans as La Perla Tapatia died after a brief illness. She was a role model for the LGBT community, having lived with her partner, Marie A. Torres, for more than 34 years.

SEPTEMBER

Marsha Warren named LGBT liaison to mayor’s office
Longtime San Antonio activist Marsha Warren was named the LGBT liaison to Mayor Ivy R. Taylor’s office and will serve on a committee that will advise the mayor on topics related to the nondiscrimination ordinance and the LGBT community at large.

Park Police arrest three men for public lewdness in one week
The week was a busy one for San Antonio’s Park Police if news reports are any indication. Three men were arrested in local parks for lewdness and soliciting sex from undercover cops.

AT&T offers no resolution in arbitration with NDO complainant
One year after the City of San Antonio passed a nondiscrimination ordinance, the first complainant, a transgender man, met with AT&T in hopes of settling his claim that the telecommunications company had fired him unjustly. The result of that meeting proved fruitless.

OCTOBER

QSanAntonio joins Out In SA
On October 1, QSanAntonio.com joined forces with Out In SA as part of their new web site and quarterly print publication.

Tragic end to story of child adopted by gay couple
The tragic story of a three-year-old girl who died while under the care of her adoptive fathers came to an end on October 3 when one of her dads, Matthew Oscar Aranda, who had been convicted in her death, was extradited from Mexico where he was hiding for five months.

Staged reading recalls days when military police patrolled S.A. gay bars
The Jump-Start Performance Company presented “Off Limits,” a staged reading of a play based on the transcript from a military hearing held at Brooks Air Force Base in June of 1973. The hearing was one of several convened to determine whether the San Antonio Country, a local gay bar at the time, should be ruled off-limits to military personnel because it “catered to homosexuals.”

NOVEMBER

Plea deal in murder of gay man
The San Antonio Express-News reported that a man who murdered a gay tourist he met in a local bar in 2013 accepted a plea deal on November 6 which netted him 30 years in jail.

Why did SA’s ‘equality index’ score get lower?
When the Human Rights Campaign released its annual Municipal Equality Index, many in San Antonio’s LGBT community were puzzled as to why the city’s score had gone from 86 last year to 72 this time around.

Openly gay U.S. Attorney recommended for federal judgeship
U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman of San Antonio, who is openly gay, was recommended and confirmed for a federal judgeship by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

DECEMBER

Bexar County Clerk ready to issue licenses if stay lifted on Texas marriage ban
The Texas Observer reported that Bexar County Clerk Gerard C. “Gerry” Rickhoff was ready to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples if U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia lifts the stay of his February decision that found the Texas equal marriage ban unconstitutional.

Fiesta Youth to launch group for young adults
In September 2013, Fiesta Youth launched the city’s first organization dedicated to LGBT youth. In January 2015, the non-profit will expand to include a twice-monthly support group for young adults aged 18 to 24.

Zoning Commission approves homeless LGBT youth shelter at church
The City of San Antonio’s Zoning Commission approved the zoning change request of the Travis Park United Methodist Church that plans to host the Thrive Youth Center, a homeless shelter for LGBT youth.

 

2014 in Review: Top 10 Stories of the Year

2014 in Review: Honorable and Dishonorable Mentions

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