Eric Alva, a gay veteran who was the first Marine seriously injured the Iraq War, was repeatedly booed by anti-LGBT protestors as he spoke in favor of changes to San Antonio’s anti-discrimination policies that would add protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status.
A crowd led by several pastors rallied in front of City Hall before moving to the City Council chambers, where over 200 people had signed up to speak for and against the proposed changes. At the rally, Pastor Charles Flowers beseeched the Council to “vote ‘no’ to this ordinance, and ‘yes’ to the reign of the kingdom of God.”
Another opponent, Richard Morales, called the fines for those who violate the ordinance “an infringement on our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion.”
When Alva, a San Antonio native who lost his right leg when he stepped on a landmine, attempted to address the Council, anti-gay protesters shouted him down. Before he left the podium, Alva directly addressed the protestors: “To all you people that preach the word of God, shame on you because God loves me, like the day I laid bleeding on the sands of Iraq and that’s why he saved me.”
“Well I just left city council chambers and I feel like crying. I have never seen a city so divided and hateful towards each other. All of mankind should be ashamed. I already spoke and even some of the religious groups even booed me as I spoke. Such disrespect as they preach the word of God.”
The Council is expected to vote on the ordinance on September 5.
[Edited on 8/17/13 to correct omission of the word "leg."]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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