The commissioner also said that being gay or trans was a “mental illness.”
A human rights commissioner, Kenick El, at the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission (VBHRC) has refused to give up his position after calling homosexuality an “abomination” in Facebook posts, as well as saying that being gay or trans was a “mental illness.”
The chair of the VBHRC has also refused to remove him from his position.
In response to a Fox News article about a trans woman who was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor, Kenick wrote: “This is why we need to stop giving men in dresses passes.
“I have daughters and I won’t accept them sharing a restroom with a grown man suffering from this mental illness. Men trying to be women and women trying to be men is really confusing our children and I’m tired of seeing this nonsense promoted to our children.”
Kenick was challenged over these views, but he doubled down, telling one person: “Homosexuality is a mental illness and should be treated as such.”
He then told another: “Homosexuality is an abomination to the human race and it corrupts the hermetic principle of gender by interfering with the laws of nature just to gratify the lower self.”
Despite his outrageous comments, Sylvia Nery-Strickland, the chair of the VBHRC defended his right to continue to be a commissioner, although she did condemn his comments.
13 NewsNow reports that Sylvia said: “Kenick El is speaking as an individual and does not speak on behalf of the Human Rights Commission (HRC).
“We are a commission, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of city council. The HRC is a very diverse group of individuals who come together for the common good and equality for all.
“However, each commissioner has individual beliefs, and we do not always agree. I personally do not agree with the postings and other commissioners have contacted me and they do not agree as well, but rather support and value our fellow LGBT commissioners, family members, friends and supporters.”
Kenick also defended himself to the publication, saying: “I felt like it was very important for me just to express my views on my page in a very sincere, polite manner.
“I made it clear in the message, I’m not speaking on behalf of any organised group.”
He added he felt people were “imposing” and “promoting sexual behaviour” before adding: “I think we have a right to freedom of speech according to our constitution and freedom of expression.”
LGBTQ Nation reports that the LGBT Life Center in Virginia Beach called for Kenick to be removed, saying in a statement: “Disregard and contempt for the dignity of all humans is counter to the mission of VBHRC, and LGBT Life Center does not believe the commission, or the commissioner, can legitimately claim to respect and safeguard all Virginia Beach citizens when a vulnerable minority population is declared to be mentally ill, an abomination, and subjected to prejudicial stereotypes.”
A statement from the Hampton Roads LGBTQAI Interfaith Group read: “We believe that the statements and opinions expressed by Commissioner El, personal or not, if left unchecked without consequence, will contribute to and foster a climate of folks in our LGBT+ community feeling unsafe and unable to trust in our elected and appointed leaders.”