Phoenix councilman will not resign after making anti-LGBT comments

Mar 10, 2016, 5:05 PM | Updated: Mar 11, 2016, 9:48 am
This April 21, 2012 photo provided by the Phoenix Pride organization shows Phoenix City Councilman ...
This April 21, 2012 photo provided by the Phoenix Pride organization shows Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski waving during a Phoenix gay pride parade. Gay rights organizations and fellow Democrats called on Nowakowski to resign Thursday in the wake of video showing him bemoaning same-sex marriage and transgender people's use of restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. (AP Photo via Phoenix Pride)
(AP Photo via Phoenix Pride)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix councilman who has championed LGBT rights said he will not resign Thursday after a video of him making anti-gay comments was posted online.

“(I have) no plans to resign,” Michael Nowakowski said during a press conference. “I will continue to fight for all people’s rights and continue to make sure the city of Phoenix is welcome to everyone.”

Some groups called for Nowakowski to resign after a video of him making anti-gay comments to a group of pastors was uploaded to YouTube.

Nowakowski was speaking to the group last month about the debate surrounding the opening prayer at council meetings when he was heard decrying gay marriage and transgender rights.

“I never thought I would see the day that men and men would be married,” Nowakowski said in the video. “Or where people were allowed to go into the same bathroom as my daughter. This world is changing, and it’s time for us to take the leadership and change it back to the way it should be.”

During his apology address, Nowakowski said he misspoke.

“I believe that love is love,” he said. “My upbringing teaches me that we should treat people fairly. My faith teaches me to love one another and not to judge, as yourself.”

Nowakowski pointed to his voting record to prove that he has stood by the LGBTQ community.

“I support civil unities,” he said. “I support domestic partnerships. My voting record proves all those statements.”

Though the councilman repeatedly asked to be judged by his voting record, he apologized numerous times and said he understands how the video makes him look.

“I am sorry for my statements,” Michael Nowakowski said during a press conference. “I take them back. I am sorry for the hurt and the pain I caused people.”

In a similar apology posted to Facebook, Nowakowski said he sometimes struggles as a Catholic to come to terms with some issues from a religious perspective, but that he still wants to defend civil liberties — including LGBT rights — from discrimination.

“I know that I represent a diverse district that includes members of the LGBTQ community,” the statement said. “My record shows that I have voted to protect our diverse community, giving an equal voice in government to all. My future voting record will continue to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community, regardless of any church teachings or proclamations.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police releases body cam footage of fatal shooting from man throwing rocks

Phoenix police released the body cam footage from the fatal shooting that left a man dead after he was throwing rocks at patrol cars.
16 hours ago
Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Zack de la Rocha (seated) and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine pe...
Kevin Stone

Long-awaited Phoenix-area Rage Against the Machine shows canceled

Rage Against the Machine scrapped the rest of their reunion tour, including two Glendale shows, after singer Zack de la Rocha injured his leg.
16 hours ago
Murad Dervish (University of Arizona Police Department Photo)...
Associated Press

Ex-grad student held without bond in fatal shooting of Arizona professor

A judge ruled there was enough evidence to try Murad Dervish on charges of first degree murder and aggravated assault.
16 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@CaesarsPalace)...

Bobby’s Burgers by chef Bobby Flay coming to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Handcrafted burgers from Bobby Flay will be served at a new restaurant concept coming to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
16 hours ago
Arizona Secretary of State Republican candidate Mark Finchem listens to instructions prior to debat...
Kevin Stone

Arizona GOP secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem explains prior use of early voting

Mark Finchem, the GOP nominee for Arizona secretary of state, explained Thursday why he regularly voted early until this year.
16 hours ago
This undated photo released by the Arizona Attorney General's Office shows Guillermina Fuentes. A Y...
Associated Press

Character witnesses testify for Arizona woman seeking leniency for ballot harvesting

A parade of character witnesses provided a judge Thursday with glowing reports about a southern Arizona woman who admitted collecting four voted early ballots in the 2020 primary election.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Phoenix councilman will not resign after making anti-LGBT comments