San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor won't support an effort that could oust Gary Kreep from the city's Human Relations Commission, where he has raised controversy for his purportedly anti-homosexual views.
The commission Dec. 18 voted to ask the City Council to consider reconfirming each member, and Paul Downey, the mayor's spokesman, said Tuesday that O'Connor has decided not to bring the matter before the council when it meets next Monday.
"It's really not appropriate for the commission to give direction to the City Council," said Downey. "So far they (commissioners) really haven't done much other than discuss Mr. Kreep, so it's time for them to get on to the business they've been charged with."
Kreep, 41, of Escondido has come under fire from the gay community and the Anti-Defamation League because of his involvement with the conservative U.S. Justice Foundation and his supposed objection to the appointment of gay judges.
Amid the dispute, the commission decided that the City Council should re-evaluate the qualifications of its appointees to the 15-member panel.
A council majority vote can remove someone from the commission, which was created in March to reduce and eliminate bigotry based on ethnicity or sexual orientation by investigating and mediating complaints of discrimination.
O'Connor's decision not to review commission members pleased Kreep, who said he opposed bias against gays but objects to preferential hiring of gays.
"I think it just reiterates what the mayor said earlier . . . that she would not be part of a move to replace me. I think she just wants us to get down to the work we've been appointed to do," Kreep said.
"My job as a commissioner is to try to represent everyone," he said. "I would respectfully suggest that, if I'm removed from the commission, there are certain viewpoints that will not be represented, and those viewpoints have just as much right to be represented on the commission as the gay and ethnic minority communities."
Downey questioned whether the council has the right to remove Kreep.
"The question keeps coming back, does the council have the right to remove someone for some action or statement they may have made 10 years ago? But, if you're going to remove somebody you have to evaluate whether they are doing something that is detrimental to the city of San Diego," Downey said.
There were mixed reactions to O'Connor's decision not to bring the issue before the council.
"The commission is a human relations commission, and what it should do is make an effort to work with Gary and to give consideration to the family values that his point of view represents," said former City Councilman Bruce Henderson, who nominated Kreep to the commission.
Tony Zampella, publisher of Bravo! Newsmagazine, which covers San Diego's gay and lesbian community, said members of the gay community will now seek the support of five council members to get the commission's request placed on a future agenda.
Morris Casuto, director of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, said he was unsure what stand his organization will take.