Activists are calling for the resignation of Carbon Hill, Ala., Mayor Mark Chambers, who posted on Facebook about wanting to kill LGBTQ people.
Chambers has apologized for the post, but Alabama activist Champagne E. Girten says it’s insufficient.
He apologized “essentially for humiliating Carbon Hill, but he never apologized to the people he targeted, to the gay and lesbian people of Carbon Hill,” Girten told the Daily Mountain Eagle, a newspaper in the neighboring town of Jasper.
“What we would really like to see is Chambers making an actual apology to the people he frankly threatened to kill,” she added. It appears that he was “sorry that he got caught, not that he was sorry he did it.”
Chambers, mayor of the northern Alabama town of fewer than 2,000 people, recently posted a graphic on Facebook that read, “We live in a society where homosexuals lecture us on morals, transvestites lecture us on human biology, baby killers lecture us on human rights and socialists lecture us on economics.”
A friend of his commented that changing the situation would take a revolution, to which Chambers replied, “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but without killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”
Chambers at first denied the post was his, then admitted it, and finally posted an apology, saying “Although I believe my comment was taken out of context and was not targeting the LGBTQ community, I know that it was wrong to say anyone should be kill.” He said he was sorry to have embarrassed the town and hoped anyone who was hurt by his words would accept his apology.
Hometown Action, a social justice group where Girten is a board member, and LGBTQ group Equality Alabama have started a petition on ActionNetwork.org calling for Chambers to resign.
“Given the outrageous and violent nature of your remarks, I do not believe it is possible for Carbon Hill or Alabama to move toward reconciliation and healing with the LGBTQ community until you resign,” the text accompanying the petition reads in part. “Only then can the city effectively take steps to ensure the protection of its LGBTQ residents.” The petition has received more than 300 signatures, out of a goal of 400.
Four of the six Carbon Hill City Council members have demanded that Chambers resign as well, the Mountain Eagle reports. A fifth has criticized his comments but has not called for his resignation. The sixth, Chambers’s brother, has not been approached about the matter.