SEVIER COUNTY, Tennessee (KETK) – A Tennessee County Commissioner is making national headlines for homophobic comments about Democratic Pete Buttigieg in a public meeting on Monday.
“We’ve got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get,” Sevier County Commissioner Warren Hurst said to the crowd.
He then said that white men in America have “very few rights.”
“I’m not prejudiced, but by golly, a white male in this country has very few rights, and they’re getting took more every day.”Warren Hurst, Sevier County Commissioner
According to a report from NBC News, while one person in the crowd walked out in protest, most of the audience cheered and applauded Hurst’s comments.
The comments are aimed at South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the only openly gay candidate in the 2020 race.
Hurst, a Republican, made his comments during a commission meeting about whether the gun should become a gun sanctuary. The official Twitter account for Sevier County denounced Hurst’s statements.
“The statements made by Commissioner Hurst at the Sevier County Commission meeting of October 21, 2019, do not reflect the opinion or position of Sevier County administration. Sevier County is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or status in any other group protected by law.”
The Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBT advocacy group in the state, has called for Hurst’s resignation.
“Tennessee Equality Project condemns the commissioner’s racist and homophobic rant,” Chris Sanders, the group’s executive director, told NBC News. “The County Commission should censure Commissioner Hurst and he should consider resigning unless he is willing to sponsor some ordinances to make county government more inclusive.”