Thursday, February 23, 2012

La Grande Mayor Pokorney apologizes

Mayor Pokorney apologizes for comments he made on Facebook
According to the La Grande Observer, that city's mayor, Daniel Pokorney, went to Eastern Oregon University on Tuesday to apologize for anti-gay remarks he made on Facebook.  You can read the whole story here.

Pokorney said of the recently-enacted Washington state legislation recognizing gay marriage that Washington was the “latest state to transition to Sodom and Gomorrah.” In another comment, he criticized the state of New Jersey for continuing the “abomination of same sex unions.”

His comments sparked outrage and disapproving remarks from the La Grande community, most of it from an organization on the Eastern Oregon campus known as the Gay-Straight Alliance.

My, oh, my!  How things have changed!

Mayor Pokorney's comments don't rise to the standard of out-and-out hate, in my opinion.  Yes, they are tasteless.  And, yes, they would seem to reveal an unsavory attitude.  But he didn't use a slur to refer to gay people, the way Texas Governor Rick Perry, for example, used a racial slur as the name of his ranch.  And, frankly, you'll hear worse broadcast over the AM airwaves or on Fox News on any given day.

Nonetheless, there is small tolerance for these kinds of indiscretions here in the Beaver State.  In Oregon, sexual tolerance is "in".  (Eastern Oregon, at that!  Be proud, Oregonians!) 

It's a different story in other parts of the country, of course.  Particularly in culturally-backwards places like South Carolina, where politicians use racism and hatred to win votes.

Credit Mayor Pokorney for recognizing his error.  It was a mistake and he owned up to it.  That deserves respect and forgiveness.  After all, if you can't forgive a man who honestly repents, none of us are going to get anywhere.

Way to own up, Mayor Pokorney.

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