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LOEFFEL ON GAYS AND THROWING STONES

LOEFFEL ON GAYS AND THROWING STONES

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Did Shelby County Commissioner Marilyn Loeffel advocate the stoning of gays and lesbians during her Friday morning talk radio program on KWAM 990 AM? Some of her listeners certainly thought so, to judge by the resulting calls to the Flyer, to the station itself, and presumably to other news outlets.

Asked about all the fuss, Loeffel, who represents Cordova on the commission, explained things this way: "We got a call from someone who called herself as a ‘bi- racial lesbian.’ I think she was thinking, 'Let's throw a little race in there. too.'"

During her radio program the commissioner, who describes herself as a conservative Christian, alluded to an Associated Press story about Christians, Jews, and Muslims joining together to prevent a proposed gay pride festival in Israel. She commented on the article saying, "We've finally found one issue that they [the three faiths] can all agree on."

According to Loeffel her producer said, off-mike, "Let them [the gays] have the festival and you can stone them all at once." Loeffel says she repeated his line on the air for her listeners but followed it up saying, "But we can't do that. The Bible says ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ "

In a subsequent interview she made a point of adding, "And I'm not about to pick up the first stone."

Loeffel explains that the producer’s comments reminded her of a story often told about and by the late Ed McAteer, founder of the Religious Roundtable -- a story which she repeated on the air: "He [McAteer] was crossing the street in D.C. with this man from the Middle East, and there were two transvestites crossing the street at the same time. So he [McAteer] asked,’ 'what would you do to those people in your country?,’ and the other man said, 'We would stone them.'"

The commissioner says she once again followed up with the caveat: 'But we can't do that because Jesus teaches let he who is without sin..." And so forth.

Loeffel says that she would never advocate harming gays and that she is concerned enough to have consulted with a gay constituent to make sure her broadcast would not be misunderstood in the GLBT (Gay-Lesbian-Bi-Transsexual) community.

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