San Jose City Council Candidate Crashes LGBTQ News Conference to Confront Critics - NBC Bay Area
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San Jose City Council Candidate Crashes LGBTQ News Conference to Confront Critics

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    Tension skyrocketed Friday when San Jose City Council hopeful Steve Brown showed up unexpectedly at a news conference at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center. Robert Handa reports. (Published Friday, Sept. 9, 2016)

    Tension skyrocketed Friday when San Jose City Council hopeful Steve Brown interrupted a news conference – at which he was the topic of discussion.

    Hosted at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, the event was disrupted by Brown’s unexpected arrival and a loud public confrontation.

    The issue? Brown’s stance on discrimination and gay marriage.

    Supporters of the LGBTQ community denounced the District 2 candidate for his response to an election questionnaire.

    Brown was asked if he “would support legislation that would prohibit discrimination against individuals, organizations and small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union between one man and one woman.”

    He answered, “Yes.”

    But on Friday, an uninvited – and unwelcome – Brown took the podium and tried to say that the word “discrimination” prompted his response.

    “I have and I always will be absolutely, diametrically opposed to any discrimination…to a person’s beliefs,” Brown stressed.

    The crowd replied by calling him a “liar.”

    Current District 2 councilman Ash Kalra, Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager and Assemblyman Evan Low were among the LGBTG advocates Friday. For them, the bottom line is a candidate’s stance on gay marriage.

    They got increasingly angered Friday when Brown proffered his support for the LGBTQ community, but declined, numerous times, to clarify his personal stance.

    “I do think that his personal perspective on these issues is a qualification or lack thereof for office,” Low said. “It clearly shows again his type of instability.”

    Brown’s opponent Sergio Jimenez was not at the news conference Friday, but said that Brown lacks the right temperament for the job.

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