Texas Democratic Official to Face Trial Over Anti-Gay Comments
Members of the Bexar County [Tex.] Democratic Party voted 72-1 on Tuesday, April 5, to put their chairman on trial for charges related to anti-gay and other controversial remarks he made earlier this year.
The vote is only the latest development in the Dan Ramos saga. He originally came under fire for comparing gay Democrats-specifically the state’s Stonewall Democrats caucus-to "termites," children born with polio and the "fucking Nazi Party" in an interview with the San Antonio Current early last month. Ramos further described the LGBT rights struggle as a "very sinister movement" that is out of touch with the county’s values. And he also made controversial statements about African Americans and the Jewish community.
Numerous activists and fellow elected officials throughout the state-including Texas Democratic Party chair Boyd Richie and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro-have called for Ramos’ resignation. The Human Rights Campaign and the Anti-Defamation League have condemned his remarks. And state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) has even introduced a bill that would specifically open the door to removing Ramos, who was elected to his current position last May, from office on the grounds of "incompetency."
Nevertheless, Ramos has reportedly stood by his comments. He first claimed the Current article did not accurately represent them; he blamed those calling for his resignation as having skeletons in their closet over the upcoming embezzlement trail of the county Democrats’ former treasurer after the newspaper released a recording of his remarks.
Ramos has, thus far, refused to resign from his post and said he plans to complete his term, which is set to expire March 2012.
Dan Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, described Ramos to EDGE as a "disruptive, divisive" individual-long before his controversial comments came to light.
"He’s just a very ignorant person," said Graney. "And it’s very sad and egregious coming from the local leader of a party where we actually have a place at the table at the state, local and national level. The kind of language he uses can promote violence against our community and it’s dangerous. We’re dealing with a very stubborn human being here."
John Dean, a member of the Direct Action Network of San Antonio, helped to organize a demonstration outside of a meeting Ramos had called-it would appear, with the goal of confusing his executive committee members-on the other side of the city at a restaurant with the same name. Dean said that roughly 30 demonstrators turned out to bring additional media attention to Ramos’ refusal to leave his post or apologize for his remarks. Get Equal also participated in the demonstration.