In April 1 article in the Rivard Report, managing editor Iris Dimmick reports that Interim Mayor Ivy R. Taylor says she thinks the passage of the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which added protections for LGBT citizens and veterans, was a “political stunt.”
Taylor’s remarks came during a March 31 mayoral candidate forum moderated by Rick Casey at the KLRN-TV studios. During the forum, Casey questioned the candidates on the issues and “delved into more sensitive territory with questions that focused on controversies each candidate has faced.”
The controversy Casey chose to address with Taylor was her “no” vote on the NDO. According to the Rivard Report:
On the day it passed in September 2013, Taylor said, the ordinance would “diminish (some people’s) faith because it’s politically correct to do so.” She also cited that it is (was) her job to represent the District 2 constituency. “I’d like to engage in other issues … I feel a lot more comfortable and productive when talking about how to balance the budget.”
Since 2013, she hasn’t changed her stance much, she said.
“The ordinance (that was passed) in 2013 had some provisions that would apply to businesses in addition to the City,” she said, referring to the section that allows the standards to be applied to businesses that the City works with. “I felt very uncomfortable with that. I thought it could put business owners … in the position of choosing between the law and their faith.”
In 2011 Taylor voted in favor of domestic partnerships for City employees, but when asked if she would support repeal of such ordinances, she said “it would be better if we just focused on the business of the City. I also found when I became mayor that there have been no efforts to actually implement the ordinance that had been passed and so I felt that it was a political stunt.”
Since becoming mayor, Taylor appointed an LGBT advisory committee and, after seven months into her term, said she wanted to hire a human relations liaison who would handle complaints made under the NDO and head up a proposed Department of Diversity and Inclusion.
However, Taylor has yet to share her proposal with City Council members who would have to vote on the measure. With Taylor’s term set to end in June, it appears that unless she is reelected, her proposal will die on the vine.
Taylor’s claim that her vote on the NDO reflected the wishes of her constituency rings false after all three City Council candidates running in her former district told the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio at their March 22 candidate forum that they supported the ordinance.
Incumbent District 2 Councilman Alan E. Warrick, II, told Stonewall members it was a shame that equal rights still had to be discussed when there were so many other issues that needed to be addressed.
In a January 13 interview, Taylor told the San Antonio Current, “I think people nowadays expect political correctness, and that is very frustrating to me. I had been told that, ‘You’re black, it would look bad for you if you don’t vote this way.’ And I didn’t like that at all. This is supposed to be nonpartisan government, right?”
At the KLRN forum, former state Senator Leticia Van de Putte was the only candidate to refute Taylor’s remarks. “The way we judge someone on their work is the qualities that they bring – not who they happen to love. When we have an ordinance on hand that really focuses on what the city does with its own employees and what businesses do that do business with the city, I think it is appropriate . . . we need to continue to be a city that marches toward equality,” Van de Putte said.
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce hosts a Mayoral Forum featuring Tommy Adkisson, Ivy R. Taylor, Leticia Van de Putte and Mike Villarreal at KLRN. The forum is moderated by Rick Casey and is being broadcast as a one-hour Texas Week special. The Forum will air Friday, April 3 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 5 at 1 p.m. on KLRN and Monday, April 6 at 8 p.m. on KLRN 9.2.