CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nueces County Commissioner Carolyn Vaughn confirmed to 3News Wednesday that she and her family have received death threats since she voiced her opinion regarding a proclamation during last Wednesday's commissioner's court meeting.
It was last Wednesday when Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales read a proclamation to recognize Pride Week in Corpus Christi. Vaughn and some other supporters disagreed with the proclamation.
"I want it in the record that I do not support this proclamation or agree with the statements in it," Vaughn said at last Wednesday's commissioner's court meeting.
Among other things, the proclamation said Pride Week is dedicated to honoring the lives lost in the Pulse nightclub shooting, commemorating the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling, and honoring the LGBTQUIA+ community.
Vaughn said she knew she would get backlash for voicing her opinion, but she never expected threats to her or her family's safety. She said she has received a lot of calls, emails, texts and social media comments, and people have commented with threats on photos of her, her grandchildren, and even one where she was with a constable.
Vaughn said she supports the LGBTQ community's rights to have a parade, but she does not agree with the proclamation and thinks that it should have never been brought to the Commissioners Court. She said she has no intention of apologizing or accepting pleas for her resignation because she did nothing wrong.
"People are afraid to stand up and say what their views are because they are afraid they are going to be attacked, and that's what happened," Vaughn said. "I understand, and I'm okay with their view and what they do. That is their business, but let me have mine and don't shove it down my throat and get angry with me and attack me because I don't agree with you."
"It's sad to hear that she's getting threats and her family is getting threats, and I hope that those end and those stop," said Eric Holguin, president of LULAC Para Todos. "We can't let the fact that trans people and the LGBTQ community, they fear for their safety every single day."
Holguin said there is no excuse to threaten someone's life and that people should take the time to be kind and understanding toward one another. He said he hopes Vaughn will come to the table, so to speak, and have a conversation with the LGBTQ community.
Holguin also wanted to point out that Wednesday is the third anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting where 49 members of the LGBTQ community were gunned down in Orlando, Fla.
The Mosaic Project, the organizers of Pride Corpus Christi, issued a statement condemning violence and threats of violence of any form. They also mentioned that between 2016 and 2017, the FBI reported a 17-percent increase in reported hate crimes nationwide and that the LGBTQ community and their allies are the most targeted minority group.