Gay Vet Wounded in Iraq Booed by Anti-Gay Protesters in Texas
Anti-gay protesters booed a gay Marine veteran, who lost a leg in battle during the Iraq War, when he testified in San Antonio, Texas, this week in support of an anti-discrimination ordinance, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
"I said that if this ordinance doesn’t pass, I could be fired from a job and even thrown out of a restaurant, and people started to boo me," Eric Alva, 42, told the newspaper. "I was real hurt by that. It was unbelievable."
According to the Express-News, Alva was the first American to be injured in the U.S. invasion of Iraq and received medical discharged before being awarded the Purple Heart.
"To all you people that preach the word of God, shame on you, because God loves me, like the day I lay bleeding on the sands of Iraq," Alva said in his speech. "And that’s why he saved me."
Twitter and other social media websites blew up soon after Alva gave his 3-minute speech supporting the ordinance, which would expand anti-discrimination protections to LGBT people and veterans. Alva also took to Facebook soon after he addressed the council on Wednesday, the Huffington Post reports.
"Well I just left city council chambers and I feel like crying," he wrote. "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 added another update to included a picture of Alva with the text of his speech imposed on the picture.
The Express-News reports there were about 300 anti-gay protesters, led by local religious leaders. They rallied outside San Antonio’s city hall before they streamed the debate online.
"We need our prayers to touch our council members," Pastor Charles Flowers told the Express-News. "Let them vote ’no’ to this ordinance, and ’yes’ to the reign of the kingdom of God."
The same ordinance has ignited a controversy around San Antonio councilwoman Elisa Chan. A former aide allegedly released an audio recording that found the lawmaker spewing anti-gay remarks during a meeting on the measure. On Monday, Chan released a statement defending her comments.
"The comments from the staff meeting on May 21st were and are my personal opinions and thoughts as guaranteed to me by the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Chan said. "It is unfortunate that a former member of my D9 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."