News that Mayor Ivy R. Taylor will be speaking at a vigil for victims of the Orlando shootings has not been met with universal acceptance by the LGBT community.
Some activists are speaking out, wondering why Taylor was invited to the vigil, saying they plan to turn their backs to her when she addresses the event.
Shortly after the announcement that Taylor would be at the vigil, which is planned for tonight, a private Facebook event page titled, “You have our backs, Ivy Taylor,” was posted declaring:
Mayor Ivy Taylor has NEVER had the backs of the LGBT community. She was one of 3 council members who opposed the non-discrimination ordinance, along with Carlton Soules and Elisa Chan. She said that she could not support us and she also said that we had the wrong sister in the seat for LGBT equality. She has NEVER accepted an invitation to speak or march in previous LGBT Pride events.
However, when 49 of our brothers and sisters are slaughtered in Orlando, she finally accepts an invitation to speak (an invitation that many in our community oppose) at a vigil to honor and remember those 49 LGBT souls. To Ivy Taylor we say NO! Not now! This is not the time or place for you to be reaching out to OUR community. You have had your chance.
My brothers and sisters, when Ivy Taylor speaks, we encourage you to turn your backs to her; just as she turned her back on us. Attend the Thursday night candlelight vigil at 7:00 p.m. and honor those who perished, but turn your backs on IVY. She should not even be speaking on behalf of our community.
The Facebook event page lists Darrell Garcia Parsons, Danna Schneider Cauthern, Kelli Maples, Jennifer K. Falcon and Carlos Soto as “hosts” for the protest.
The sentiments expressed on the Facebook event page have sparked scores of comments, pro and con, on social media. Some are angry the mayor will be at the vigil and others say her attendance at the event is a sign of progress and even if it’s not, the community should act with respect for her office.
“I get the anger felt toward Taylor. I understand. She voted against the Nondiscrimination Ordinance. Her words prior to her vote hurt. I spoke in front of her and the rest of City Council, just like many of you did. I was there with you. But we can’t meet hate with hate. We are a better community than that. A lot of people have worked hard since the NDO passed to build bridges with the Mayor and the City. This silent protest will not promote continued good will,” read a Facebook post by activist Ann Marie Schroeder.
Robert Salcido, board chair of Pride Center San Antonio and a member of the mayor’s LGBT advisory committee, believes it’s time for the community to meet Taylor halfway. “Quite frankly, my opinion is that Ivy is meeting us on our side. How can we change the hearts and minds of people, if we don’t even take the time to try to educate and sit with them to find a mutual understanding in hopes that we can create change.”
“I’ve never been happy with the mayor’s vote [on the NDO] but I respect her because she is my mayor,” Salcido told Out In SA. “I’ve gotten to know her over the last 18 months and she’s an intelligent and compassionate person who happens not to see eye to eye on our issues. This isn’t a reason to shut her out but more of a reason to embrace her and find common ground. This is the only way to build allies and we must realize that it takes time.”
Pride Center San Antonio Vigil to Honor Lives of Orlando Shooting Victims, Thursday, June 16, 2016 7:00 p.m. at Crockett Park 1300 N. Main St. For a complete list of speakers visit the Pride Center SA website.