(LaPorte, IN) - An elected official from LaPorte is apologizing for saying during a public meeting the lifestyle of the LGBTQ community is a sin in the eyes of God.
The remarks by city councilman Roger Galloway came during Monday night’s city council meeting.
Alex Masepohl of LaPorte during a short presentation asked for the city’s support for giving young people struggling with sexual orientation or gender identity more resources they can turn to for help.
When asked by mayor Tom Dermody if any member of the council had any questions, Galloway, 70, spoke up.
“You’re talking about gay people. Stuff like that, right? You know that’s against The Bible. Anybody ever read The Bible,” Galloway said.
Masepohl, 29, responded “I actually have, yes.”
Galloway under fire by the mayor and his colleagues issued an apology in a statement released the next day.
“LaPorte is a welcoming community and my remarks did not reflect that. My personal opinions and beliefs should never get in the way of my ability to represent our community as a whole,” he said.
Galloway also revealed he and LGBTQ representatives agreed to meet.
“I am grateful for their willingness to have a conversation so I can learn more and develop a better understanding,” he said.
Galloway met Tuesday night at City Hall with Masepohl, Elissa Wright and a few other members of the newly formed “Out in LaPorte” group.
Wright, 28, said Galloway apologized to them personally.
“He seemed pretty receptive about being educated,” she said.
A form to file an ethics complaint against Galloway was posted on the Out in LaPorte Facebook page.
Masepohl said she was caught off guard by Galloway’s disparaging remarks she feels illustrate a need for more education.
Masepohl also said the meeting with Galloway went very well and her group is not calling for him to resign.
“We have started the process to get all city officials trained in human rights matters as well as started taking steps to insure LGBTQ youth have more resources,” she said.
Dermody said he supports the group’s efforts and called Galloway’s remarks during a public meeting unacceptable.
“That’s not who we are as a community,” he said.