Texas Representative Norma Chavez is
calling on her challenger Naomi Gonzalez to publicly admit she's gay.
The two women will face off in an April
13 primary runoff triggered after Democratic voters refused both
candidates a clear majority last month.
Chavez, who won the primary with a
slight lead, was first elected to the Texas House in 1996. Her
western district includes most of central El Paso.
Things became heated during a recent
candidates forum when, according to the El Paso Times,
motorcycle enthusiasts in the audience took offense to an off-handed
remark by Gonzalez.
Chavez, who considers herself a member
of the biker community, quickly responded: “I have not attacked her
for being a lesbian gay woman.”
In another incident, Chavez answered a
question concerning gay rights by saying that as a member of the gay
community Gonzalez is most probably in favor of gay marriage. Chavez
said she supports gay rights, but not the right to marry. Texans
agreed in 2005 to define marriage as a heterosexual union in the
El Paso County Democratic Party
Chairman Danny Anchondo criticized Chavez.
“If somebody is lesbian or gay, our
arms are open to all these individuals,” Anchondo told the paper.
“All these people are part of the party, so I don't understand why
somebody would be using those terms to attack somebody.”
Chavez, however, has defended her
remarks, saying the point is relevant to how representatives would
vote on gay marriage.
“She needs to accept her gay
community,” Chavez insisted.
Gonzalez, an assistant El Paso County
attorney, refused to answer the question, only saying: “This
campaign is not about me. This is about Norma Chavez, and this is
another desperate attempt on her part to distract from her own