San Antonio TV station bans local activists and showcases anti-LGBTQ activists


Take action: call WOAI and demand equal time for LGBTQ Texans

Last night in San Antonio, Texas, Sinclair Broadcasting Group television affiliate WOAI failed to bring balance and equal representation to a town hall special surrounding the state’s Senate Bill 6 – a measure that would openly discriminate against transgender Texans.

WOAI’s town hall follows what has been a contentious week in Austin surrounding the debate around Senate Bill 6. Thousands of Texans crowded the State Capitol in opposition of the measure, but ultimately, the bill was voted through committee by an 8-1 margin – ignoring the will of the hundreds who testified against the measure.

According to Equality Texas, panelists included two members of local anti-LGBTQ groups, the San Antonio Family Association and Texas Conservative Republicans, and just one person who identified as LGBTQ.

If you were booking a television panel about a law that would harm transgender youth in Texas, wouldn’t you include the voice of a transgender young person? Instead, the station thought that known anti-LGBTQ activists were the experts on the topic. This prompted local LGBTQ advocates, including many members of Equality Texas, to walk out during the event in protest and hold a counter press conference outside of the town hall event space.

WATCH: Walkout happens near 12:00 marker.

It is Journalism 101 to showcase accuracy and balance when covering stories – especially ones as critical as this. This should always include national network, cable, and local affiliates across the nation.

Simply put, WOAI failed their viewers by hosting a panel that did not equally represent both sides of the Senate Bill 6 debate.

“By failing to provide equal representation in the debate on Senate Bill 6 – a measure that would openly discriminate against transgender Texans – WOAI and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group are blatantly ignoring the basic journalistic responsibility of fairness,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “WOAI should give equal time to LGBTQ Texans and real experts who know trans students are the only ones who will be harmed by this discriminatory un-American policy.”

With the LGBTQ community under a barrage of attacks in Texas, in other states, and in Washington, D.C., now is the time to stand up and make our voices heard. We must fight back against open discrimination against marginalized groups.

We need your help. Below is the contact information and names of WOAI’s Program Director, News Director, and Public Affairs Coordinator. Reach out to WOAI and demand full and equal time for the LGBTQ community.

With hundreds who testified against SB6 and with the health and safety of transgender Texans on the line, now is the time to act and demand equal representation on Senate Bill 6. This discriminatory bill has already cause the City of San Antonio to lost three conventions and about $3 million in revenue – with possibly more to come. 

Help us demand equal time, and help us in our fight to protect the rights and lives of the thousands of transgender Texans.