Austin Voters Upset Over Choice of Gay School Board Member

The Reverend Jayme Mathias has defeated incumbent Sam Guzman to become the first gay member of the Austin school board, representing district two.

BY Michelle Garcia

November 13 2012 12:03 PM ET

The Reverend Jayme Mathias has defeated incumbent Sam Guzman to become the first gay member of the Austin school board, representing district two. However, some voters are now upset because they were not aware they would be voting a gay man into office.

Mathaias, an American Catholic priest who left the Roman Catholic faith because of its antigay doctrine, said he didn't feel the need to reveal his sexual orientation in his school board campaign.

"It's part of who I am, an important part of who I am, but it's not all of who I am," he told KVUE News.

Several involved in the election told the Austin American-Statesman that they knew Mathias was gay, including his opponent. Guzman said he and his team wanted to win on the merits of his abilities, and not by trashing Mathias because of his sexual orientation.

Still, some voters were not aware that Mathias was gay, and now say they suddenly feel duped.

"The question here is the honesty," Mathias's former parishioner and district two voter Frances Martinez told KVUE News. "He could have been honest to us. What else is there for us to know."

Larry Amaro, another district two voter, said Mathias should have disclosed his sexual orientation for the parents' sake.

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