Gay official targeted with vile homophobic smear campaign. His opponent says anyone offended is ‘heterophobic’

Nick Duffy
·3-min read

A gay Texas school board official is being targeted by disgraceful homophobic mailouts supporting his election opponent.

Omar Leos, a member of the school board for San Antonio’s North East Independent School District, is being targeted with anti-gay messaging in support of his conservative opponent Ione McGinty ahead of the election on November 3.

Mailouts distributed by the fundamentalist San Antonio Family Association in support of McGinty target Leos for being gay, describing him as “‘married’ to same-sex man”, with quotation marks around the word married.

It also claims that he “voted to reaffirm radical sex ed” and highlights that has “no children” in the district.

Leos, a qualified teacher, has lived in the area with his husband for 11 years, and works as fine arts coordinator for schools in another part of San Antonio.

McGinty, a tennis coach with no listed qualifications beyond a high school diploma, also has no children enrolled in the district’s schools as she homeschools her six children.

The mailouts were flagged by a gay resident of the area, who complained on Reddit: “Me and my also gay ‘husband’ can’t even escape homophobic propaganda in our mailbox. Don’t vote for this horrible lady please.”

Gay Texas school board election: The 'vile' anti-gay leaflets have been called out
The ‘vile’ anti-gay leaflets have been called out in the Texas election (Reddit user Dorianscale)

Speaking to the San Antonio Antonio-Express, Omar Leos said: “I’m surprised that they’re using homophobic tactics to go after voters.

“It’s insulting. But you know what? I’m proud of my marriage. I’m proud that I am able to marry legally in the United States.”

Texas candidate claims gay people are ‘heterophobic’ after being challenged over disgraceful anti-gay messages.

McGinty, who had shared photos of the mailouts on her Facebook page, denied to the newspaper that she had distributed them or directly coordinated with the San Antonio Family Association.

She declined to condemn the messages however, claiming that people offended by them are “heterophobic”.

The candidate told the outlet: “I think that’s ridiculous. I think they’re heterophobic and I think that those remarks are Christian-phobic because they’re not respecting someone that has a different belief.”

McGinty defended the wording, suggesting quotations marks around marriage were used because the group believes in “the biblical definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.”

San Antonio Family Association boss Michael Knuffke makes no apologies for his anti-gay views, attacking the school board for being “willing to condone, approve, and even promote homosexuality,” which he claims is “unhealthy and unnatural.”

It’s far from the only attempt to weaponise anti-LGBT rhetoric in Texas ahead of November 3’s elections.

Republicans are targeting Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones, the proud lesbian military veteran hoping to flip Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, with anti-trans attack ads ahead of polling day.

Meanwhile, the state’s governor Greg Abbott has moved to strip Texas social workers of protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.