Julian Castro, the 34-year-old mayor of the nation’s seventh-largest city (San Antonio), says he knew there’d be some backlash when he agreed to serve as grand marshal of the Alamo City’s annual gay Pride parade on July 4. But Castro did it anyway, and he’s not backing down from the decision in the face of a hateful e-mail campaign led by conservative Christian radio host Adam McManus.

“Julian Castro has shamed San Antonio by agreeing to serve as grand marshal of this homosexual parade,” McManus told The San Antonio Express-News. “There’s nothing to be proud of when you participate in behavior that God described as an abomination.”

It’s hard to believe that that this type of thing is still going on in 2009 in such a major city — and over a freakin’ parade! — but then again, this is Texas. Sam Sanchez, publisher of the gay news Web site QSanAntonio.com, explained to The Express-News that San Antonio has remained “notoriously homophobic” due to its Catholic base, the Latino population and the conservative white (military) population. Kudos to Sanchez, Texas Stonewall Democrats President Dan Graney and all the other LGBT activists in San Antonio for their hard work in trying to combat this. Apparently it’s paying off.

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