NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A Newport Beach city councilman accused of making anti-gay statements on city letterhead got an earful from the community during a meeting on Tuesday.
During the Newport Beach City Council meeting, many residents demanded the resignation of Scott Peotter, who's accused of using the Newport Beach city seal on an email to constituents expressing his displeasure with the U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
In the email, he allegedly wrote: "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."
"You, sir, have no business being on this council. You should resign at the end of this meeting after apologizing first to the LGBTQ community and second to the citizens of Newport Beach," Jeff Laterno, a Newport Beach resident, said.
Another resident said: "You have every right to your free speech no matter how offensive it may be to all of us. Just don't confuse us by using the city seal."
In one email, Peotter allegedly wrote: "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 …' "
"We honestly look like Donald Trump when we spew stuff like that. The nation is laughing at us," another woman said.
But some defended what they called Peotter's First Amendment right.
"For him to be vilified for taking a position that some disagree with, that's unfortunate," Don Ferris, another Newport Beach resident, said.
Fellow Councilman Keith Curry said Peotter had been warned before not to use the city seal on personal emails.
On Tuesday night, Peotter defended his use of the seal, though he says, he agreed to remove it.
"It was never my intent to inflame the community, LGBT community or the citizens of Newport Beach," Peotter said.
One council member is asking the District Attorney to investigate Peotter's use of the city seal. His future was not voted on during the meeting.
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