An Alabama mayor who got in trouble a year ago for a Facebook post that advocated killing LGBTQ+ people has now resigned after denouncing a video that supported the Black Lives Matter movement.
There were calls for Mark Chambers to resign as mayor of Carbon Hill after the homophobic post of 2019. He had shared a graphic reading, “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.” In response to a comment on the post, he wrote, “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 tried to deny the post was his and then apologized for it, claiming he “was not targeting the LGBTQ community” but admitting it was wrong to say anyone should be killed. He resisted demands for his resignation, but two City Council members left their positions, apparently out of embarrassment.
The controversy that finally led him to quit arose out of his Facebook comments on the University of Alabama football team, the Crimson Tide, which had posted an antiracism video June 25. The video featured several players and head coach Nick Saban discussing the need for people to listen to and learn from one another, and closed with the line “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.”
Sometime later, Chambers wrote on Facebook that he would be selling his photos of Alabama players because “Nick Sabin and the Tide is done in my opinion,” misspelling the coach’s name, reports the Daily Mountain Eagle, a local newspaper. When someone commented that the team hadn’t played well in recent years, Chambers responded that his action had nothing to do with the Tide’s performance on the field: “Their sorry ass political views is why their getting out of my house. … When you put Black lives before all lives they can kiss my ass.” Reporters at the Eagle didn’t see the original post, which had disappeared by the time they checked, but were sent screen shots of it. Others shared the screen shots as well.
Chambers then turned in a letter of resignation Saturday, reading, “I quit the job of mayor effective June 27 at 4:30 p.m.,” according to the Eagle. The City Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday, at which members accepted Chambers’s resignation and appointed Councilwoman April Kennedy Herron mayor. She said she will run for a full four-year term in November, the paper reports. Chambers refused to speak to local media.
Chambers’s outrageous comments aren’t the only scandal that has recently rocked Carbon Hill, a town of about 2,000 people 50 miles northwest of Birmingham. Councilman Robert Perry Warren has been charged with murder in the death of his wife, Lisa Warren, according to AL.com, a site for several Alabama newspapers. He had reported her missing in February, and her body was found in a creek in March. He was initially charged with manslaughter, but the charge was soon upgraded to murder; court documents say Lisa Warren died after being struck in the head multiple times with an object. Robert Warren is in jail awaiting trial.