Newport Beach council member Scott Peotter put his anti-gay marriage bigotry out for everyone to see and added the City of Newport Beach’s seal to his hate of gays and lesbians over the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage ruling last month. And Kevin O’Grady of the LGBT Center OC is calling out the bigotry.
In a statement, O’Grady condemns Peotter’s actions:
“The homophobic message below appears on the site of a Newport Beach City Council member, Scott Peotter,” said O’Grady. “Not only is it disturbing that an elected city official would give voice to such homophobic beliefs, but that his statement appears under the seal of the City of Newport Beach is even more disturbing. I urge you to call Scott Peotter’s office and voice your disgust and/or call the office of the city manager and express your concern.”
O’Grady offered this comment exclusively for TheLiberalOC: ”
“Scott Peotter’s homophobic statement, on his website, was appalling, and we condemn it in the strongest terms. He has since claimed to respect LGBT people, but his own words prove how vacuous that claim is. Mr. Peotter used his office and position to spread his hate and bigotry and he did so under the seal of the City of Newport Beach. The city should condemn him and distance themselves from the councilman.”
Peotter’s newsletter, which features the city’s seal, offered this commentary:
“I know, the Supreme Court (that would be 5 out of 9 guys in black robes) decided 10 days ago to overturn 5,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition, by redefining and allowing gay marriage. All of a sudden, a lot of the ‘important stuff’ of the city didn’t seem so important. I like how the White House is really quick on the ‘important’ stuff like this rainbow lighting. I do find it interesting that the homosexual movement adopted the rainbow as their symbol, as it was God’s symbol that he wouldn’t destroy the world by flood again … Maybe they are ‘wishful thinking …’.”
Peotter doesn’t think he’s a bigot and reacted in a statement emailed to City News Service, ““It is a shame that someone who likes to position himself as a fighter of hate, name calling and tolerance resorts to hate, name calling and intolerance when someone legitimately disagrees with a political position that isn’t in line with his.”
The City of Newport Beach issued this statement: “Recently, the City of Newport Beach was asked to respond to comments made by a council member, in his personal capacity, regarding a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court. Sometimes it can be difficult to discern when a council member is exercising their personal right to freedom of speech and when they are speaking on behalf of the city of Newport Beach.
“The communication sent by the council member was intended to reflect his personal thoughts related to the decision by the Supreme Court and not intended to reflect the position of the city of Newport Beach. The city welcomes and values its citizens, visitors and employees, irrespective of sexual orientation or marital status, and embraces Newport Beach’s place in a diverse and vibrant Southern California.”
Barbara Venzia takes Peotter’s bigotry apart in a brilliant column in the Daily Pilot. She writes: “If Peotter had taken the time to do a simple Internet search, he would have discovered the rainbow flag’s history has nothing to do with End Times.
It was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 and flew that year in the first San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.
Many suggest Baker’s inspiration was Judy Garland’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.”
But more important, the city of Newport Beach does not issue marriage licenses to anyone — gay or straight — so this seemingly official correspondence, which makes use of the city seal, makes even less sense.”
The city has not taken official action against Peotter for his misuse of the city’s seal in his newsletter. Council member Keith Curry told Venzia: “This is why we have a law against allowing extremist council members from using the city seal for their own intemperate rants,” Councilman Keith Curry explained. “Mr. Peotter should spend more time focused on trying to make this a better city for all of our residents and less on his national political agenda.”
The Democrats of Greater Irvine Facebook group notes that Peotter and Gay Rights. Peotter and Irvine Council member Christina Shea were leaders of the Irvine Values Coalition that successfully overturned an Irvine city ordinance that granted civil rights to city employees who are gay. Peotter was quoted at the time saying “we just don’t want homosexuality promoted in Irvine.”
Shea rose to power in Irvine on anti-gay bigotry.
Shea offered her thoughts on this to the LA Times in 1989 writing:
“Before we insulate any special interest group for special legislation we need to take into account its behavior. Recent studies generated by the AIDS epidemic reveal that homosexuality is characterized by a wide range of sexual perversions, varying degrees of promiscuity and a disproportionate percentage of sexually transmitted diseases.
The Orange County Health Department disclosed that more than 86% of all reported cases of AIDS in Orange County have as their origin the homosexual and bisexual communities. The reason that these statistics are so high is that the average homosexual who has been tested for and found to have AIDS has had approximately 100 different sexual partners per year before testing positive to the HIV virus.
Many homosexual groups lobby for political prominence by playing the “victim role.” In the Oct. 9 issue of U.S. News & World Report, John Leo states, “More and more aggrieved groups want to magnify their victim status.” Homosexuals seem to understand this clearly; that is why many homosexual activists have turned “gay bashing” into a media campaign.
Several openly professing homosexuals continually play the “victim role” on our own stage in Irvine. They express fears that if this ordinance is amended they will not be able to get adequate housing or jobs. This is completely unfounded. The gay community has not experienced discrimination in Irvine, as the Human Rights Committee study has shown. In fact, their standard of living is excellent.
Contrary to what the homosexuals want us to believe, they have gained more acceptance in the last 20 years in the United States than ever before. A Washington Post article (April, 1979) confirmed this point by indicating that “the homosexuals in our country have become a new ‘power block,’ a block that has both power and money.”
As the homosexual community is quite aware, portraying itself as a victim can gain political and social recognition. This stance, however, can be deceptive and destructive to society.
Support equal rights for all citizens, not special rights for a few. Vote yes on Measure N.”
The LA Times editorial supported a No on Measure N vote. From the editorial: “It is ironic that a city ordinance intended to unite the community is being used by some misguided residents and crusading outsiders instead to divide it with appeals to people’s baser fears.
No one’s rights are safe unless everyone’s rights are secure. Proponents of Measure N like to argue that homosexuals are not a bona fide minority group. But any group being discriminated against deserves the protection of the law and the support of the community.
In considering how to vote on Measure N, whether you believe homosexuals can change their life style at will is not important. What you think of the homosexual life style, even if you find it abhorrent, is really of no consequence either. The issue is that everyone has the right to seek jobs, and housing, without being subjected to prejudice. Nor can the community pick and choose what people it wants and does not want–and, by protecting some groups and excluding others, whom it may discriminate against.
Irvine’s human rights ordinance was an attempt to oppose such discrimination. And to send a message to all minorities that they are wanted, needed and, indeed, are welcome in the city. A no vote on Measure N will endorse that message in the strongest terms possible.”
Shea was the ring leader of what the LA Times called “an anti-gay group,” the Irvine Values Coalition’s initiative, submitted to the city clerk, would exclude homosexuals from protection against discrimination. The initiative, which narrowly won in 1989 when the city was much smaller, prevented the City Council from adopting any future ordinance that “defines sexual orientation as a fundamental human right” without a vote of two-thirds of the people. The LA Times described the Irvine Values Coalition is a group of about 75 residents who call themselves “family oriented” and against infiltration of gays in the community.
The quote that will always define Shea for me is in this story: “Consulting with anti-gay leaders such as Rep. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) and Oregon activists who had opposed an executive order allowing homosexuals to become foster parents, the Irvine Values Coalition plotted a strategy that focused on homosexuality and included graphic depictions of extreme behavior.
“We tried to show we were normal people. I’m a mom with three kids and I don’t want gay pride festivals or public sex in bathrooms in my city,” Christina said.