The quirky Republican from Marietta – OK, total nut job that even his hometown paper calls “flaky” – responded over the weekend to calls last week from the Queer Justice League that he apologize and undergo sensitivity training with his staff.
Asked by AT on Friday if he planned to issue such an apology or enroll in any such training, Franklin e-mailed back over the weekend: “I have not seen any such remarks (from The Queer Justice League) and will not waste my time reading them,” he wrote. “I will not apologize for making references to what the Bible teaches. If anyone has a problem with what the Bible teaches then their problem is with God and not with me.”
Franklin offered the response to the Marietta Daily Journal, the same newspaper that included Franklin’s offensive comments in a rambling Q&A on Feb. 7.
“The Bible says it’s a capital offense,” Franklin (photo) said of homosexuality. “You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it’s not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things. The church is full of sinners, but we’re told in 1st Corinthians it rattled off the homosexual, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, and such were some of you, but you’ve been washed, you’ve been justified and so forth. It’s not what you were. You’re not punishing a thought. But do you want an unrepentant drug dealer in the military? Same thing.”
On Wednesday, the Queer Justice League called on Franklin to apologize for the remarks and undergo sensitivity training with his staff “to better address the diverse opinions, beliefs and values of your constituents.”
“Your comment, comparing members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities to drug dealers, is offensive,” QJL says in a letter to Franklin. “We believe that the climate of hateful rhetoric must come to an end (on both sides of the political aisle). Unfortunately, your comments do nothing to accomplish this, and in fact exacerbate the situation.”
Jeff Schade, a QJL spokesperson, said last week that the group will pressure Franklin to compel a response.
“Rep. Franklin was elected to represent all of his constituents, not simply those that share his ideological views, which he admits are religiously based,” Schade says in a prepared statement. “Rep. Franklin’s comments are deeply offensive and we do not take them lightly. In a time when the public has called for less rhetoric from our elected officials, comparing an entire community to adulterers, thieves and liars, as he did, is simply unacceptable.”
Photo courtesy Laura Moon, Marietta Daily Journal