An Oregon town has apologized after a member of its city council told a gay man to go die of AIDS.
Lou Nakapalau, who sits on the council of Echo City, reportedly harassed filmmaker Joe Wilson on Facebook in response to an article Wilson posted on workplace protections for transgender people. Nakapalau claimed that he was “sick of the LGBTQ crowd shoving their keyed up agenda down my throat.”
The ensuing conversation included a number of anti-gay epithets lobbed at Wilson, which were later deleted. Nakapalau subsequently began to threaten the documentarian—whose latest film, Kumu Hina, profiles a transgender woman in Hawaii.
“When you croak of AIDS (Anally Injected Death Serum),” the politician said, “I’ll spit on your grave!”
Nakapalau has yet to speak publicly on his comments, but the Echo City council voted during its most recent meeting to issue an apology to Wilson. The board claimed that Nakapalau’s remarks do not reflect the local government’s views of LGBTQ people.
“The Echo City Council would like to extend its sincerest apology to those who were offended [...],” the council said in a statement. “Comments of individual council members on their personal social media accounts do not have any endorsement or approval of the council as a whole nor do they represent city policy.”
Echo City council member Robert Harris claimed that the apology was the “absolute least” the town can do to make amends to the LGBTQ community. Nakapalau was present for the decision and voted in favor of issuing the statement.
The mea culpa may not be enough for some.
Townsfolk turned up at the Echo City Council meeting to advocate that Nakapalau be removed from his position. Local resident Jenny Sullivan told the city’s leadership that she is “absolutely disgusted” by Nakapalau’s remarks.
“[A]ny self-respecting council would throw him off,” she said.