Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter is the target of criticism after releasing an e-mail message attacking the gay rights movement and the White House for twisting the Biblical interpretation of the rainbow. The White House was illuminated in rainbow colors after the June 26 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
Peotter noted that according to the Bible, the rainbow had been created to indicate God’s promise that he would not destroy the world again after the Great Flood. He wrote, “I do find it interesting that the homosexual movement adopted the rainbow as their symbol, as it was God’s symbol that he wouldn’t destroy the world by flood again. And maybe they are wishful thinking,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The email displayed the Newport Beach city seal and a photo of gay couples celebrating in Washington , D.C.
Kevin O’Grady, executive director of the LGBT Center of Orange County, said, “I’m disgusted an elected official ould issue such a homophobic hateful message. It is even more disturbing that the site on which this message appears carries the seal of the city of Newport Beach. The use of the seal gives the appearance that this bigoted message is endorsed by the city. If the city does not endorse this message, they should repudiate it immediately,” according to the Daily Pilot.
Newport Beach Mayor Ed Selich echoed his disapproval of Peotter’s email, telling the Times, “From my standpoint, personally, and speaking as mayor, his comments are inappropriate for a council member and not reflective of city policy in any way. He should have chosen a platform where his opinions wouldn’t be confused with the city’s.”
Peotter asserted that he is not homophobic or anti-LGBT. O’Grady, however, told the Times that Peotter’s attitude was symbolic of how Orange County “is a long way behind the rest of the country.”
The Daily Pilot reported that on Wednesday, Peotter agreed to remove the city seal from his website and future email blasts.