Two Carbon Hill city councilmen have resigned after their mayor made online comments about killing gay people, transgender people, “baby killers” and “socialists.”
The resignations of District 1 councilman McClain Burrough and District 4 councilman Chandler Gann were accepted during the city’s council meeting on Monday. An explanation for their resignations was not mentioned during the meeting.
Hometown Action, a social justice organization based in Alabama, organized a protest before the meeting and began a petition calling for Mayor Mark Chambers’ resignation. Protestors marched outside the Carbon Hill city hall and staged a “die-in,” a form of protest where individuals lie on the ground motionless to simulate dead bodies, in an effort to pressure Chambers’ to resign.
Chambers met with three of the protest organizers before the city council meeting to listen to their demands and to “clarify what had happened and explain what he meant.”
Champagne Girten, an LGBTQ activist who works with Hometown Action, said Chambers was willing to consider their demand for a nondiscrimination ordinance to provide protestions for the LGBTQ community but that he would not resign and he may run for reelection.
“Small town issues that suddenly make international news are far too often neglected in the long
Run, especially in these days of fast-moving political news,” Girten said. “People in small towns need support from allies outside their immediate area, and Hometown Action works together with local communities to develop place-based, sustainable solutions to prevent further injustices.”
After the council meeting, several protesters shouted at Chambers to address his comments, chanting “Resign Mayor Chambers” as he left the building.
Hometown Action organizers said they will continue to attend Carbon Hill city council meetings to pressure Chambers to resign and to support the development of a local nondiscrimination ordinance.