Ann Arbor councilor Jeff Hayner was removed from committee assignments for homophobic tweets

Ann Arbor city councilor Jeff Hayner, who was widely convicted last week for using a homophobic quote on social media, was stripped of his committee assignments at a special meeting of the city council on Monday. The motion to remove Hayner from his committees was accepted 8-2.

Hayner ran into trouble after posting a quote from Hunter J. Thompson’s 1971 book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” on social media.

“The press is a gang of cruel fagots,” begins the passage quoted by Hayner. “It’s a cheap jack-of-all-trades for fuckoffs and outsiders – a fake door to the back of life, a filthy, piss-ridden little hole pinned by the building inspector but just deep enough for a wino to curl up off the sidewalk like a masturbate Chimpanzee in a zoo cage. “

The response was quick.

On April 12, Hayner initially refused to apologize. Then he reconsidered later that day and publicly apologized for the “language I quoted is offensive, acknowledges my poor judgment in its use, and I sincerely apologize for the harm I have done to the community.” have.”

But for the majority of his council members who attended the virtual meeting on Monday, apologizing just wasn’t enough.

“As a gay man, I have been exposed to homophobia and hatred for much of my life,” said Councilor Travis Radina. “I’ve been called the F word more times than I want to remember. I heard the F-word as it was used in this case – as an insult that was hurled at others because apparently a derogatory comparison with gay people is still seen as the worst insult imaginable.

“As leaders in our community, our words matter,” continued Radina. “When I see that this feeling is actively shared by an elected community member and that the same person does not immediately acknowledge the harm it can do to others, it hurts and annoys me.”

Hayner called the focus on his words a “dangerous thing”.

“Words are dangerous and the harm they do to the community is real, but I also think it’s an inadequate solution,” he said. “I don’t understand how by quoting someone’s swear words that has been repeated infinitely on social media and councilors’ websites, I am less able to manage our parks, read an alcohol license report, or get one Read Brownfield Report. “

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