By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The group, Equality Alabama, has sent a letter to U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R) from Saks criticizing the conservative Alabama Congressman for remarks that he made to the Alabama Association of Realtors.
Alabama Equality Chairman Ben Cooper wrote in his open letter to Rep. Rogers, “Equality Alabama exists to advance equal rights for LGBT Alabamians, so it is my job as chairman to inform you that when you marginalize our community, we will not be silent.”
Chairman Cooper continued, “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. 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.”
Chairman Cooper wrote, “I am disappointed that an elected U.S. Representative from our great State would make such dismissive and divisive comments towards LGBT Alabamians. Our organization believes in the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Your words and actions defy that creed as well as your duty to serve all of the people of your district and our State.”
Chairman Cooper said, “LGBT Alabamians have little in the way of equal rights. Same-sex couples are not free to marry their partners here. Children are not protected from bullying based on real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Employers are free to fire someone based on who they are or whom they love. Alabama’s landlords can legally deny housing to LGBT folks.”
The Alabama Association of Realtors issued a statement following Rep. Rogers’ remarks. The group wrote, “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. 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.”
Chairman Cooper invited Rogers to attend the 16th annual Vigil for Victims of Hate and Violence in Montgomery, Ala., on the steps of the State Capitol on February 16. The event is held in remembrance of Billy Jack Gaither who was beaten to death for his homosexual sexual orientation.
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District. Rep. Rogers has qualified with the Alabama Republican Party seeking a seventh term in the United States Congress.