Alabama mayor called for killing out gay people

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48521788

Carbon Hill Mayor Mark ChambersImage copyright
Carbon Hill

Image caption

Mayor Mark Chambers called for the killing of LGBT people

The mayor of an Alabama town reportedly called for “killing out” gay people in a since-deleted Facebook comment.

Mark Chambers lumped “homosexuals” and “transvestites” together with “baby killers” and “socialists” in the post, according to TV station WBRC.

The Carbon Hill mayor reportedly maintained his words had been taken out of context, before apologising.

A gay rights group has demanded his resignation. The mayor could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to WBRC, Mr Chambers posted on Facebook a graphic that read all in capital letters: “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!”

The mayor reportedly commented on the post: “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but with out [sic] killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”

The comment prompted calls for the mayor to step down, including from the Alabama branch of the Human Rights Campaign.

The group called Mr Chambers’ comments “horrifying, unconscionable and unacceptable”.

“LGBTQ people face disproportionate levels of violence and harassment in their daily lives – a fact that is especially true in Alabama. Mayor Chambers must be held to account.”

Mr Chambers has given no signal that he will step down as mayor of Carbon Hill, a town of less than 2,000 people, 150 miles (240km) north of the state capital, Montgomery.

When WBRC contacted Mr Chambers, he initially denied writing the comment, according to the Birmingham, Alabama-based news station.

But in a subsequent call, he reportedly told WBRC he had made the comment public by mistake and intended to send it privately to a friend.

During his phone call with the TV station, Mr Chambers also reportedly mentioned immigrants in the US, calling them “ungrateful” and arguing they were taking over the country.

US media report that Mr Chambers posted an apology to his Facebook page, writing: “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 [sic].”

Mr Chambers has been mayor of Carbon Hill since 2014.

According to the town website, he ran for office because Carbon Hill “was not going in a positive direction”.