The Hate Is Gone: Former City Staffer Rehired, Claims Cleansed Soul

A former city council staffer who was caught on tape encouraging former SA Councilwoman Elisa Chan to be a "culture warrior" against homosexuality has a new job – with the city.

Jeff Bazan was working for City Councilman Ron Nirenberg in June 2013 when the San Antonio Express-News obtained conversations secretly recorded by another Chan staffer in May 2013. He resigned the position, the paper reported at the time.

Bazan now works for City Councilman Cris Medina as a special projects coordinator. 

Chan's homophobic comments in the recording, coupled by encouragement and anti-gay rhetoric from Bazan and other staffers, happened during a strategy session on how to come out against the city's plan to amend its non-discrimination ordinance to include the LGBT community.

In a statement to the San Antonio Current on Monday, Bazan said that scandal was two years ago, noting that he has had a change of heart and that he deserves a second chance because he sees things differently now.

“My personal views reflect the ideal that all people should be treated with dignity and respect. For those who don’t know me personally, this will be difficult to accept, but since that day two years ago I have worked with a lot of understanding people in the LGBTQ community and look forward being part of the effort to make San Antonio an even more inclusive city,“ Bazan said.

He has convinced at least his current bosses. Medina's Chief of Staff, Dan DeBauche, told the Current that he believes Bazan is honest about having come around on previous unacceptable perspective regarding SA's LGBT community.

“I have over a decade of experience in progressive politics from presidential to city council campaigns. My credentials are solid and Councilman Medina has an unimpeachable record on LGBTQ issues. I take Jeff at his word when he says that what he said on tape doesn’t reflect his personal views and that he is committed to working toward building a more inclusive, respectful San Antonio," DeBauche said in a statement. "Jeff brings a wealth of experience that compliments my own and I believe everyone deserves a second chance. Intolerance or any form of discrimination will not be tolerated in this office. “

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