Hewes Leads Council In Voting To Condemn Sodomy Decision - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/22/03

Hewes Leads Council In Voting To Condemn Sodomy Decision

Gulfport City Councilman Billy Hewes put his conservative beliefs against homosexuals into city policy Monday, and a majority of the Council agreed with him. The council, after only a brief discussion, voted to condemn a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas state law making sodomy a crime.

Before the council meeting, a few members of the statewide gay rights group "Equality Mississippi", were in front of city hall picketing.

"My reaction when I heard of the resolution was, 'its typical' and 'oh not again'," Jody Renaldo said.

It was councilman Billy Hewes who introduced the resolution. When told of the picketers, Hewe's said that's okay with him, but...

''I just feel like what they are protesting and what they want to do violates the laws of God and I am opposed to that," Hewes said.

Hewes, in the past, has made no secret of his oppostion to the gay lifestyle. During the meeting, he said there was nothing more despicable than a homosexual act.

The vote came after a brief comment from the state leader of Equality Mississippi. Afterward, a disappointed Jody Renaldo said it was a slap in the face.

"Because this is Billy Hewes and the Gulfport city council saying your life as a human being is not as valuable as ours as straight people," Renaldo said.

"We said the pledge of allegiance in there, that said we are one nation under god, with liberty and justice for all, for all does not mean for the straight community only," Pat Gonser with Equality Alabama said.

As for Billy Hewes , the man rumored to be considering a run for mayor, has no intention of backing off from his controversial stance...or controversial comments.

"Gay used to be a good word when I was growing up, we called homosexuals queer at that time, I am sorry they have the problem they do, but I think they are the ones who are sick," Hewes said.

Monday's city council vote was five to one, with one abstention. The only council member who opposed Hewe's resolution was council president Jimmie Jenkins. Councilwoman Ella Holmes Hines arrived at the meeting just as the vote was being taken, so she abstained.

by Jeff Lawson

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