Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski was caught on camera making what clearly sounds like anti-gay marriage and anti-transgender remarks while giving a speech about why he believes it was wrong for the city to get rid of public prayer during council meetings.
“I never thought that this would happen at City Hall. I never thought I would see the day that men and men would be married. Or that people are allowed to go into the same bathroom as my daughter,” he says, clasping his hands together over his heart.
“This world is changing, and it’s time for us to take the leadership and change it back to the way it should be,” he adds.
Nowakowski has been one of the more vocal critics of the city’s decision last month to get rid of prayer after a local Satanist group announced it would deliver the invocation at an upcoming City Council meeting.
The announcement set off a firestorm about the separation of church and state and divided the city council. Nowakowski, along with councilmen Sal DiCiccio, Bill Gates, and Jim Warring vowed to stop the group, but at a February 4 council meeting, the city ended up voting in favor of replacing the prayer aspect of the invocation with a moment of silence.
The four then declared this a win for the Satanists and vowed to overturn the decision.
It is in this context that Nowakowski was caught on video making statements about the need to bring God and prayer and religion back into government and city life.
Nowakowski could not immediately be reached for comment, but Equality for Arizona, which fights for equal, legal rights, and protections for the LGBTQ community in Arizona made the following statement about the video on its Facebook page:
“These hateful, bigoted comments don’t represent our community or city.”
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**Update 12:55: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton issued the following statement: “I am shocked that a councilmember who represents so many LGBT individuals in the heart of our city would hold such homophobic views. I condemn these ignorant comments in the strongest terms, and hope and pray the councilman will open his heart and begin to appreciate the diversity of the people he represents.”
Watch the video: