Protestors want apology for Rep. Palazzo's gay marriage remarks
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
He doesn't speak for all of us. That's the message dozens of protesters carried as they marched to the Downtown Gulfport office of Congressman Steven Palazzo. The controversy started over comments Congressman Steven Palazzo made after this year's Grammys. The awards show featured a group marriage ceremony that included some same sex couples.
Afterwards the congressman wrote on his campaign Facebook page. "Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn't value the same conservative beliefs we do in Mississippi. Last night's demonstration at the #Grammys is a perfect example of their disconnect."
On Wednesday, those words had protestors taking to the streets. One step at time more than 60 people made the walk to the congressman's office.
"Our message today is just to let him know that he doesn't speak for all of us," said Jeff White, organizer. "He doesn't speak for the entire state of Mississippi. He speaks for a select few and we would like him to apologize because he's furthering the stigma of how people perceive Mississippi to be."
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community say they deserve to be treated equally with everyone else.
"We're alerting people that we are here," Ramontez Lowe, protestor. "It's not a disease. We're not outcast. We're your lawyers. We're your doctors. We're business owners. We're students. We're just like you. We just love different."
Once they arrived at Congressman's Palazzo's office protestors were told that Palazzo was in Washington, DC. White and the rest of the group spoke with staff member Hunter Lipscomb.
"We wanted to bring this petition that we had signed behalf of the Gulf Coast LGBT community," White said. "We would like to make sure that gets to the congressman as soon as possible."
Lipscomb thanked the group for exercising their right to freedom of speech and invited them inside for coffee. He also said, "Congressman Palazzo is a Christian conservative and always has been and always will be. He believes in the protection of the traditional sanctity of marriage that he has learned through his Catholic and Christian faith. He also would want everyone to recall that Mississippians overwhelming voted to protect traditional marriage."
When Ramontez Lowe was asked about his thoughts on the response he said, "Of course it was the Southern do-si-do run around to avoid answering the question in a way. It was very politically correct, and I think he practiced it."
The participants said they plan to hold more marches.