San Antonio Spurs, SBOE Member Marisa Perez Back LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

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The San Antonio Spurs have come out in support of adding legal protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's nondiscrimination policies.

In a letter sent to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the team cites their own nondiscrimination policies and the National Basketball Association's. The NBA added sexual orientation to the league's nondiscrimination policy though collective bargaining in 2011.

Additionally, Texas State Board of Education member Marisa B. Perez wrote a letter in support of the ordinance. She addresses the powerful impact LGBT couples can have by being allowed to provide a loving home for children in need of adoption.

Read what the letter had to say and who else has come out in support after the jump.The letter from the Spurs is dated Aug. 22, but Mayor Julian Castro didn't make it public until he shared it on Tuesday with the San Antonio Express-News. In the letter, Rick Pych, president of business operations for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, offers his organization's support:

“SS&E and the NBA have historically been leaders in diversity and nondiscrimination,” Pych wrote. “SS&E has demonstrated a commitment to fair employment practices, which has resulted in a diverse workforce in our multicultural community.”

The Spurs' letter was sent before an Aug. 28 tweet from Silver Stars forward Sophia Young, in which Young says she opposes same-sex marriage and urges the council to vote “no” on the proposal. The ordinance addresses employment discrimination, not marriage equality.

Earlier last week, the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also announced their support of of the ordinance.

Castro stated that he's very happy to see support from the business community, including the Spurs. “Successful companies clearly get that nondiscrimination provisions that apply to the LGBT community make good business sense and are the right thing to do,” said Castro.

Texas State Board of Education Member Marisa B. Perez, a former Child Protective Services caseworker, sent out a very powerful letter addressing adoption by LGBT couples, as studies time after time have shown children adopted by LGBT parents grow up just as fine as everyone else. The comments were made in reference to Councilwoman Chan's earlier anti-gay comments stating she believes that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt children, as she fears gay parents will confuse and morally corrupt children.

Here is the complete letter by Perez:

San Antonio City Council

San Antonio City Hall

100 Military Plaza

San Antonio TX 78205

Re: Support for Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Dear City Council Members:

At a time when you have been charged with reviewing, and hopefully approving, what has evolved into an extremely contentious issue over whether or not to offer nondiscrimination protection for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity, I ask that you remember that it is up to you to make decisions that are in the best interest of all of your constituents; not just your political base.

As a fellow policy maker, I recognize and understand that we are in a position of great responsibility. The choices we make have an incredible impact on the future of our citizens, cities, counties and state.  That said, as a citizen of this beautiful city, it is my responsibility to share with you, my support for the Non-Discrimination Ordinance.  While I believe that every individual is entitled to his/her opinion about homosexuality, based on morals, religion, or what have you; I do not believe that this translates into entitlement to pass judgment or confiscate rights from other individuals.

As a former Child Protective Services caseworker, I was horrified to hear the ignorant and judgmental comments made by Councilwoman Chan, regarding her belief that homosexual couples should not be allowed to adopt for fear of “confusing them (children).”  I have witnessed, firsthand, the disproportionate number of children in our foster care system to that of available foster/adoptive homes that are able, willing and ready to open their homes to not only foster/adoptive children, but to caseworkers, medical professionals, licensing agencies, attorneys and CASA advocates.  I invite Councilwoman Chan to study the foster care system and see just how valuable and special some of those homosexual couples have been, are and will continue to be in the lives of so many foster/adopted youth.  As a message for the Councilwoman; while you may not agree with adoption of children by homosexual couples for fear of indoctrination and whatever else; I do not agree with allowing our foster youth and orphans to remain in crowded children's shelters, orphanages and foster homes where they will not receive individualized attention; where their fate is uncertain and where they may end up in the permanent conservatorship of the State, supported by our tax dollars until they are 18 years old, because you do not believe these loving homosexual homes are appropriate.

I implore you, our San Antonio Council Members, to think very carefully about what implications a decision against this ordinance will have and what message you send.  We cannot allow this issue and the need for political points to muddy the conversation as people, love and respect are not topics to manipulate or “questionable confusions.”  Thank you for the work you do for our city.

In service,

Marisa B. Perez

Texas State Board of Education, Member

District 3

The council is set to vote on the ordinance today, after 1:00pm.  

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About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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