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Rolando Briones says LGBT ordinance changes impose 'unwanted values'
QSanAntonio, May 23, 2013

Rolando Briones, candidate in the runoff election for City Council District 8, has aligned himself with Pastor Gerald Ripley and his followers in opposing the inclusion of LGBT protections in the city's non-discrimination ordinances.

Ripley, who represents Voices of Marriage, along with representatives of the Texas Leadership Coalition, the San Antonio Family Association and the Responsible Government Coalition held a press conference on the steps of City Hall on May 22.

The groups not only oppose the ordinance changes but they also want to roll back the domestic partnership benefits that were granted to the same-sex partners of city employees in 2011. Additionally, they are against Mayor Castro's appointment of a liaison to the LGBT community.

Briones was at the press conference but did not speak from the podium. Instead, a statement was read on his behalf by David Rosa, who last year ran for the 20th District Congressional seat against Joaquin Castro who won the race handily.

Dan Graney, the co-chair of CAUSA who attended the press conference, told QSanAntonio that prior to reading Briones' statement, Rosa identified himself as someone who "practices his Catholic faith, is the father of three daughters and an independent businessman."

Graney says the statement Rosa read said that Briones "valued diversity" but opposed the ordinance changes because they were "politically motivated" and not related to the needs of the city such as fixing roads. The ordinance changes were unneeded, the Briones' statement said, because they impose "values that San Antonio does not want."

Rolando Briones (left) looks on while Pastor Gerald Ripley speaks.

Briones' remarks were read at the end of the press conference. Prior to that speakers from the various organizations made comments about San Antonio becoming "San Francisco on the River" and how LGBT-related benefits and ordinances "destroy" families."

QSanAntonio requested a transcript of the statement from the Briones campaign but received no reply.

Judging from the pictures QSanAntonio was able to obtain from the event, there was one media camera and no one else except those who were part of the protest.

Briones faces off against Ron Nirenberg in the June 15 runoff election and has sought to portray himself as more conservative than his opponent. However, he has refused to answer candidate questionnaires and has been hounded by a series of ethical controversies as reported by the San Antonio Express News.

Nirenberg was endorsed by the Express-News and came in first in the May 11 election with 49.53% of the vote but came up short of an outright victory by just a few votes.

Nirenberg sought the endorsement of the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio but did not get the nod. Briones did not seek Stonewall's endorsement.

Nirenberg has strong support among LGBT voters nonetheless, he most recently attended the Equality Texas Spirit of Texas Brunch on May 19.

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