GetEqual Texas, a grassroots LGBT-advocacy organization, announced today that it has issued a travel alert to any LGBT person visiting the San Antonio area.
TRAVEL ALERT –SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Effective immediately. Expires on September 6, 2013, unless renewed.
GetEQUAL TX alerts those traveling to San Antonio, Texas of a continued risk of discrimination based upon sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The City of San Antonio does not currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (“LGBT”) people from being legally ejected from their hotel rooms or other places of public accommodation. Although city officials are attempting to correct the issue for LGBT travelers, hundreds have appeared on the streets in front of council demanding that such discrimination discontinue.
Additionally, those supporting discrimination have been seen screaming obscenities and derogatory slurs in the faces of LGBT people on the streets of San Antonio. These opponents of equality have targeted LGBT people at and near City Hall, and within various city parks.
Those who are required to travel to San Antonio are encouraged to take the following precautions:
Avoid traveling alone in the city.
Only book travel at hotels which have policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Visit only known LGBT-friendly establishments, including restaurants, bars and venues (see http://www.glyp.comfor a listing of some locations).
Be aware of your surroundings and adopt other appropriate safety measures to protect yourself while traveling.
If you experience discrimination while visiting San Antonio, please report it to GetEQUAL TX’s discrimination hotline at 707-992-LGBT (5428).
In its press release, GetEqual Texas states, “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.”
According to GetEqual Texas, the San Antonio City Council has repeatedly postponed a vote on the antidiscrimination ordinance, as well as delayed action on a proposed amendment that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT travelers in public accommodations.
San Antonio Express-News reports that conservative Texas State Rep. Dan Branch, a Dallas Republican campaigning for attorney general, sent a letter to San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, a Democrat, on Monday asking that he withdraw the proposed ordinance.
Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin already have similar ordinances.
GetEqual Texas has not called for a boycott of San Antonio, nor does it directly discourage LGBT visitors. The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association strongly supports LGBT tourism as a tool for gaining greater understanding and equality. In a recent statement on LGBT discrimination and homophobia in Russia, IGLTA stated, “From our experience, we know that tourism is an unstoppable force for good that transcends oppression.”
While the the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau has been proactively engaged in marketing its city to LGBT travelers, there was no immediate response to a request for comment on GetEqual Texas’s travel alert.
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Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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