The lesbian-gay-bi-sexual-transgender community, also known as the L.G.B.T., gathered outside the Congressman's Gulfport office today to protest, what they are calling, his anti-gay comments. Members of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center joined forces with members of the community who believe that Congressman Palazzo spoke out of turn. The message they wanted to send: the Congressman does not speak for everyone. Many protesters were just outside Congressman Steven Palazzo's office Wednesday afternoon, and they took to the streets, demanding fair treatment. Jeff White, one of the organizers of the event, says, "We're meeting up and we’re going to have a march on Congressman Steven Palazzo's office to deliver a petition that has 850 signatures." The uproar is over a Facebook post in which Palazzo stated, "Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn't value the same conservative beliefs that we do in Mississippi." According to the protesters, this is a false and misleading statement. White also says, "Basically saying that no one in Mississippi supports equality of any kind and it’s just not true." Ramontez Lowe, another of the event organizers, says, "I have no problem with you representing the State of Mississippi, but only if you represent the state as a whole. Your opinion is valued and you’re paid to represent us, but you can’t represent us with your own opinion."
Palazzo’s Chief of Staff says this opinion is strictly the Congressman's own. Hunter Lipscomb, Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Palazzo, says, "Congressman Palazzo is a Christian. This is his view, and he believes in the traditional values that he read and learned in the Bible." Two residents showed up and stood in the Congressman's corner. Frank Strain says he was there to help defend the Congressman and what he stands for. Strain says, "I don't agree with nothing they have, they say, or they do. I didn't come here to start a fight." The protesters turned in a petition to the Congressman's staff today in hopes of getting an apology. White also says, "It’s basically as we expected, but now we hope to get a response." Palazzo was not at his Gulfport office today during this protest. So far, the Congressman has not issued an apology. Palazzo says the he is a firm believer in traditional family values and the Bible. The protesters expect a response from the Congressman in the next week. News 25 will continue to follow the story.