Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert posted a homophobic rant on his Facebook page, declaring that his hometown's Pride Parade should be moved to a day other than Sunday, because he says the celebration is meant to belittle and offend Christians.
The Republican lawmaker took on the city council of his hometown, Conway, Ark., in the lengthy post, blasting members and Mayor Tab Townsell for esablishing the parade 13-years-ago to enable "anti-Christian" behavior.
"I object to Mayor Townsell and the Conway City Council continuing to allow people, many of whom do not even live in our community, to parade down our streets on a Sunday and accuse Christians of being 'bigots' because they believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is sin. This is truly one of the most offensive public displays against Christians you will find anywhere in our state and especially offensive because they have specifically chosen Sunday to try and intimidate people who believe in the Word of God."
Rapert, who claims most of his constituents silently share his views, also took the moment to object to the city council recently passing an ordinance protecting the city's LGBT employees from discrimination, saying that "no discrimination" had ever occurred in Conway and no complaints had ever been filed.
Saturday marks the second time Rapert has made headlines for inflammatory Facebook posts. In February, the state senator advocated for the use of nuclear weapons against the Islamic militant group ISIS, according to the Arkansas Times.
Rapert has also vocally supported antigay state legislation, proposing a non-binding resolution last year for the Arkansas Legislative Council to urge the state's supreme court to overturn the May 9 circuit court ruling that Arkansas' same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Marriage equality is currently halted in Arkansas as the ruling faces a state appeal.
Despite Rapert's strenuous objections, Conway's Pride parade saw more attendees than ever before this Sunday, with sentiments like Rapert's serving as a "rallying point." Many attendees carried signs addressing the state senator's online outburst, according to Arkansas Matters. Mayor Townsell, a Democrat, showed up to support the parade for the first time.
Conway's first pride parade, held in 2003, drew 100 attendees and 1,800 protesters, some of whom dumped six tons of manure in the streets, according to local news station WTHV.
By contrast, last year 1,200 celebrated Pride; the protest consisted of a single family.
Read all of Senator Rapert's Facebook post below.