Florida state Rep. Mike Hill (R) refuses to apologize for his reaction to a suggestion that he pass legislation to allow the execution of gay men.
On Friday, the Pensacola News Journal published an audio recording of Hill holding a meeting at Pensacola City Hall, during which a man asked the GOP lawmaker about imposing the death penalty onto gay men.
“In Corinthians 1, it says that a man that has an affair with another man will be put to death,” the man said.
“Can you introduce legislation?” Another man asked.
Hill laughed and replied: “Introduce legislation? I wonder how that would go.”
The lawmaker then moved on: “Okay, enough of that stuff.”
GOP Florida leadership quickly called on Hill to apologize after his remarks became public.
“I am horrified by what I just heard, hate of any kind cannot be tolerated,” Florida Republican party chair Joe Gruters tweeted late last week. “Mike Hill should immediately apologize.”
Slamming Hill’s “callous indifference to an outrageous question,” Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva (R) and Rules Chairman Chris Sprowls (R) said in a joint statement that Hill “owes his colleagues an apology and he owes the Republican caucus a better example of political courage.”
However, Hill has remained defiant.
His first response to the story was to cry “Fake news” a la President Donald Trump, despite the fact that the exchange was recorded.
Hill then claimed he simply “laughed at the nonsense of running legislation that the gentleman in the audience suggested,” and complained he was a victim of “social media lynching.”
“Absurd to ask me to apologize for a statement that I did not make and that no one took seriously!” Hill tweeted.
https://t.co/aaEtmBCffj. Absurd to ask me to apologize for a statement that I did not make and that no one took seriously. This is a social media lynching!
— Mike Hill (@MikeHillfl) June 1, 2019
The Pensacola News Journal found several anti-LGBT tweets from Hill from the past several years, which included claims like “the homosexual movement is God’s judgement” and “transgender is a made up concept.”