News :: Politics

Alabama Rep. Busted for Homophobic Remarks at Conference

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Monday Feb 3, 2014
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Rep. Mike Rogers has a long history of homophobic behavior, including outing elected officials
Rep. Mike Rogers has a long history of homophobic behavior, including outing elected officials  (Source:http://mike-rogers.house.gov/)

An Alabama gay rights group and local realtors have accused Rep. Mike Rogers of making homophobic groups while speaking to a realtors group in Montgomery on Jan. 23.

According to a recent AL.com, LGBT group Equality Alabama wrote an open letter to the Republican from Saks, Ala., accusing him of making homophobic remarks to hundreds of realtors last month. The Alabama Association of Realtors said in a statement that Rogers’ comments were inappropriate.

"At the Board of Directors meeting this morning one of our speakers made some remarks that were inappropriate and offensive to some of our members," the statement said. "Those remarks are not reflective of AAR or our policies. Moving forward we will endeavor to prevent such inappropriate remarks at our events or meetings."

In the open letter to Rogers, Equality Alabama Chairman Ben Cooper wrote that, "when you marginalize our community, we will not be silent."

"You allegedly joked about how nice it was to be called ’Honey’ and ’Sweetie’ by a woman at an Alabama restaurant rather than a D.C. men’s room," Cooper wrote. "And you went on to mock our nation’s capitol as a ’cross between Detroit and San Francisco’ -- an obvious reference to Detroit’s racial makeup and San Francisco’s vibrant gay culture. Comments like these are racist, homophobic, and hurtful, and they will not be tolerated."

Cooper invited Rogers to see the impact hate speech has by joining a Feb. 16 vigil at the State Capitol for Victims of Hate and Violence, noting that it marked the 15th anniversary of the brutal murder of Billy Jack Gaither of Sylacauga, who was beaten to death and set on fire because he was gay.

"I invite you to join us at the Vigil to learn about the challenges facing LGBT Alabamians and to engage in a conversation with our leadership about how to be a better steward of your office for all Alabamians," Cooper wrote. There is no response from Rogers as to whether he will attend.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

Comments

  • Jonathan Willner, 2014-02-07 01:55:09

    The good news in this is that the Alabama Association of Realtors, presumably not a gay-rights organization, objected to Rogers’s remarks.


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