End Anti-LGBTQ Hate & Violence: Mayor Chambers Must Resign.

Mayor Mark Chambers

On June 4, Mayor Mark Chambers of Carbon Hill posted appalling public comments on Facebook about LGBTQ people and reproductive rights. Feeling threatened by the way we live our lives and exercise our rights in this state, Chambers made his views perfectly clear: "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.” We take him at his word. In this state, where there are no statewide LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, we don't have the luxury of not taking threats to our safety seriously.

As we enter Pride Season and celebrate all that our community has accomplished, it is important to remember that the fight for recognition and respect is still far from over. Alabama is and will continue to be a queer state, but when those who represent us feel comfortable to negate our humanity, we cannot stand by in silence. When it is still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in most places in the state, words like those Mayor Chambers has shared are not only offensive, but pose a real danger to the safety of our community.  

LGBTQ people live in every community across the state--rural, urban, and suburban. This is our state, but those aren't our values. No person who threatens community members with violence should be permitted to hold office in Alabama. Therefore, we demand Mayor Chambers resign and that city officials take active steps to protect LGBTQ residents.

Sponsored By Hometown Action and Equality Alabama

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To: Mayor Mark Chambers
From: [Your Name]

I am deeply concerned by your discriminatory, threatening, offensive public remarks against the LGBTQ community. As the mayor of Carbon Hill, you have an obligation to represent your whole community. Your comments exclude and put at risk the many LGBTQ people living in Alabama and in Carbon Hill. Your actions are not only irresponsible for failing to represent your whole community, they are dangerous because they promote discrimination and violence towards a group of people who receive no protections in your city or in the majority of the state of Alabama. Your proposal of "[killing] the problem out" is egregious, violent, and morally reprehensible. They are a threat to the safety of LGBTQ people in this state and in Carbon Hill; there is no other context in which to read them.

As an elected official, you owe it to your constituents to take responsibility for your words and for the harm they have inflicted. These shameful comments, made in your capacity as the mayor, reflect dismally upon the community of Carbon Hill. Given the outrageous and violent nature of your remarks, I do not believe it is possible for Carbon Hill or Alabama to move toward reconciliation and healing with the LGBTQ community until you resign. Only then can the city effectively take steps to ensure the protection of its LGBTQ residents.