A Mobile County, Alabama treasurer made multiple homophobic comments online recently and is defending such comments by saying that gay people are offensive to him, according to The Hill.
His comments were in response to a news article about Jack Phillips refusing to bake a cake for a gender transition. In his comment, he said “Freaking queers have gotten too much sympathy. A real abomination.” Charming. WPMI reporter Andrea Ramey asked Benson “Do you understand, though, how your words can be offensive to gay people or to anybody?” To which he responded that he feels offended by gay people and how he was also offended by former president Obama lighting up the White House in response to same-sex marriage being legalized nationwide.
Ramey isn’t the only person to speak out against Benson’s comments, as Mobile County Pride that it was not right for an elected official to publicly “voice such hate-orientated opinions.” Benson further defends his comments, specifically the use of the slur “queer” by using his age of 77 as an excuse. He said to newsgroup AL.com that “I grew up in the ’50s,” and “that was common verbiage” and that he isn’t sure what the contemporary terms to use are. He then goes on to use the contemporary term when he said in response to his claim that his comments were actually about government overreach into private businesses. He said, using the contemporary term, “It’s not only the gays, the LBG-ABC whatever… all groups have gotten just too strong, too powerful.” (bold font added emphasis). So what I gathered from his explanation is that he’s suffering from willful ignorance, as he never bothered to change with the times.
I had to roll my eyes when he said “LGB-ABC whatever” because it’s just so exhausting having to listen to (or read about) someone mocking the LGBTQ initialism as a way to undermine someone’s identity. Regardless, I’m glad that people are calling Benson out for his homophobic comments but it’s still annoying that he’s not open to maybe doing some research so that he might be persuaded to not be threatened by colorful symbolism.
Source: The Hill