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|State Rep. Bobby Franklin refuses to apologize for anti-gay remarks|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|March 18, 2011 00:00|
State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) said this week he “can not and will not” apologize for comparing gay people to criminals after LGBT activists hand delivered a letter demanding an apology to his office on March 8.
In February, Franklin told the Marietta Daily Journal he denounced the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“The Bible says [homosexuality is] a capital offense,” Franklin said in a Feb. 7 article. “You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it’s not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things. The church is full of sinners, but we’re told in 1st Corinthians it rattled off the homosexual, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, and such were some of you, but you’ve been washed, you’ve been justified and so forth. It’s not what you were. You’re not punishing a thought. But do you want an unrepentant drug dealer in the military? Same thing.”
Atlanta’s Queer Justice League and GetEQUAL GA attempted to hand deliver a letter demanding an apology to Franklin on March 8. However, Franklin did not come off the House floor to meet them. The activists then delivered the letter to his administrative assistant at his office and the letter was put on Franklin’s desk.
In a March 15 email to the GA Voice, Franklin said he would not apologize. He had also declined to apologize when asked to do so by LGBT activists in February.
“The Biblical text to which I was referring during the interview with the Marietta Daily Journal was from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11,” Franklin told the GA Voice, then quoted the text.
“I can not and I will not apologize for making references to what God has said in His Word. But I do find it interesting that fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and swindlers have not demanded an apology,” Franklin added.
Paul Schappaugh of GetEQUAL GA issued a response to Franklin’s comments.
“As a duly elected Georgia state representative, Bobby Franklin was elected to represent all of his constituents — including LGBTQ citizens. His utter disregard and disrespect for the LGBTQ community is at issue, not his own personal beliefs.
“We will continue to call for Mr. Franklin to apologize for equating LGBTQ Georgians to drug dealers and will continue to call for a dialogue with his LGBTQ constituents,” Schappaugh said.
Art Izzard of QJL and Schappaugh along with Brad Ploeger, Monica Helms, ShiShi Goodman and Betty Couvertier went to the Capitol on March 8 to deliver the letter.
The letter was signed by: QJL, GetEQUAL GA, Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Progressive Christian Alliance, Marietta PFLAG, MEGA Family Project, Savannah Queer Power, MondoHomo, Atlanta Stonewall Democrats, Georgia Log Cabin Republicans and the Libertarian Party of Cobb County.
“Your comment comparing members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities to drug dealers, is offensive. We believe that the climate of hateful rhetoric must come to an end (on both sides of the political aisle). Unfortunately, your comments do nothing to accomplish this, and in fact exacerbates the situation,” the letter reads in part.
The letter also demands Franklin and staff undergo sensitivity and diversity training.
“While we respect that every individual is entitled to choose their own values and morals, we do not accept comparisons of your constituents to criminals,” the letter further states.
Top photo: LGBT activists went to state Rep. Bobby Franklin’s office to deliver a letter demanding he apologize for recent anti-gay remarks. (by Dyana Bagby)
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