CARBON HILL, Ala. (WBRC) - New fallout from comments made online by Carbon Hill Mayor Mark Chambers.
On Wednesday, two Alabama LGBTQ advocacy groups started a petition calling for his resignation.
In just a few hours, the petition organized by Equality Alabama and Hometown Action, garnered more than 100 signatures. A second petition, which is on change.org, has received more than 350 signatures as of Thursday morning.
Motivation for the petitions stemmed from a now-deleted Facebook post by Chambers. The post 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.”
Chambers also responded to a comment to the post by saying, “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.”
On Monday night, we spoke to Chambers, who initially denied making the post then later saying the post is being taken out of context.
Several people have called for Chambers to resign even though he issued an apology, which was deleted shortly after, on his Facebook page.
Jami Foster Head of Equality Alabama said an apology was not enough.
“As a private citizen, as a member of the LGBTQ community, as an Alabamian, no I do not accept that apology. In order to show that you mean something, it's time for action," Foster said.
Growing up in Alabama was not easy for Foster.
“I remember the way people talked about queer folks and LGBTQ community members locally. The ways they would short them or say things behind their back. and even to their face or public platforms, from pulpits, community leaders. As a child I heard those things and it scared me,” Foster said.
Foster said Mayor Chambers’ comments are dangerous.
"There are over 368 recorded murders of Trans women in this country [United States] just this year,” said Foster.
"In a state like Alabama there are no state-wide protections for LGBTQ people. You can be fired for being yourself in your workplace. You can be evicted from where you live because you identify as LGBTQ and there are no state-wide protections for that. So, when people make comments about killing LGBTQ people, you’re talking about people in your community, in your state. " He says the petition to oust Chambers is the first step. “What needs to happen next is more than just a resignation of an individual it has to be about a shift in culture,” Foster said.
Foster commended the city of Birmingham and Montevallo which passed ordinance protecting members of the LGBTQ community against hate crimes and urged the state to follow suit.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” he said.
In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill including the LGBTQ community as a protected group. However, no further action was taken on the bill before the session ended.