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California lawmaker's aide under fire over profanity-laced voicemail to pastor

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- A Southern California pastor got an earful when he listened to one of his phone messages that was filled with profanity, blasting him for his opposition to a bill affecting LGBT rights, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Part of the voicemail said: “I don’t know how you can call yourself a pastor after you write this ridiculously hateful letter. And you have the nerve to cite history? You are just either stupid, ignorant or evil.”

Joey Hill, the chief of staff for Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, left the message that went on to say: “Read your bible over again, man, and find some love in your (expletive) heart, you (expletive) (expletive).”

The message was left for Pastor Marc Little at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood. He said he initially was shocked and appalled.

The voicemail was in response to Little’s letter to lawmakers earlier this month opposing Senate Bill 1146.

Before the bill was amended last week, it would have made it harder to sue Christian colleges and universities for discrimination against LGBT students.

Jones-Sawyer said he is disappointed in his chief of staff.

“I’ve already reprimanded my employee, and then we’re going to have some other counseling involved with that,” the lawmaker told CBS Sacramento station KOVR-TV. “Never going to excuse that language, so let’s get that clear.”

Hill said he wished he could take it back.

“It was emotional, heated and somewhat political,” he said. “My temper got out of hand, and I regret it.”

He apologized to Little, who accepted his apology.

But now, a petition is demanding Hill’s resignation.

On the other side, members of the LGBT community in the capital city said it is more hurt by the pastor’s letter.

“What worries me more is when young folk see these hurtful statements by religious leaders,” said the board president of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.

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