The advisory didn't come from Homeland Security, but there is a travel alert for LGBT people bound for San Antonio, Texas.
The alert was issued by GetEQUAL Texas, which is protesting anti-gay remarks made by San Antonio City Councilwoman Elisa Chan and the council's decisions to delay a vote on protections for LGBT people.
Chan is offering no apologies in her defense against a secretly recorded conversation from May in which she called homosexuality too “disgusting to even think about,” characterized being gay as a “behavioral preference” and said gays should be banned from adopting children.
Chan, in a recent statement, said, “The comments from the staff meeting on May 21 were and are my personal opinions and thoughts as guaranteed to me by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is unfortunate that a former member of my District 9 Council team betrayed the trust of my staff members and me. I will fight, I will always fight for our freedom of speech especially in a private setting. I plan to hold a press conference this week to address this issue.”
GetEQUAL, a statewide LGBT activist group, said, “San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the country but it refuses to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT travelers from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The city, according to Get EQUAL Texas, has repeatedly postponed a vote on the anti-discrimination ordinance, as well as delayed action on a proposed amendment that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT travelers in public accommodations.
“Having been raised in San Antonio, I’ve experienced discrimination repeatedly within the borders of the city," stated Get EQUAL activist Jay Morris, who added, “If the City Council refuses to pass this non-discrimination ordinance, I worry for the safety of other LGBT residents of and travelers to the city.”
Get EQUAL activist Jennifer Falcon said, "The rule of law in San Antonio supports discrimination, plain and simple. Our local officials are dragging their feet, there is no state law to help us and there are no federal laws in place we can rely on for protection. If the city really wants to welcome all people, they would take action immediately to pass this non-discrimination ordinance and end the fear of discrimination by LGBT travelers to our city."
A liaison to Mayor Julian Castro has said the council could vote on Sept. 5.
The group warned “those traveling to San Antonio, Texas, of a continued risk of discrimination based upon sexual orientation and/or gender identity” and offered some precautions:
• Avoid traveling alone in the city.
• Only book travel at hotels, which have policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
• Visit only known LGBT-friendly establishments.
• Be aware of your surroundings and adopt appropriate safety measures to protect yourself while traveling.
Get EQUAL said the travel alert would expire on Sept. 6. But it probably won’t be lifted if there isn’t a vote to adopt nondiscrimination protections on Sept. 5.
Castro, a strong supporter of marriage equality, recently called Chan's remarks hurtful, misinformed and not representative of San Antonio.