Phoenix city councilman sparks outrage with antigay remarks

Nowakowski issued an apology Wednesday and sought to clarify his remarks. He said he often found it difficult to reconcile issues such as same-sex marriage with his Catholic religion.

“My reference in the video to ‘returning to the way it should be’ was in regards to prayer at City Council meetings, not to roll back LGBTQ rights. I understand why my statement in the video was misconstrued, and I apologize,” Nowakowski said.

The councilman also said his voting record shows he has a history of protecting LGBT rights. That record and Nowakowski’s support when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage is what makes the video all the more stunning to some.

Justin Owen, executive director of Phoenix Pride, said Nowakowski previously took part in the city’s gay pride parade and was even a keynote speaker at an AIDS vigil. Though he wants Nowakowski to be held accountable, Owen stopped short of calling for him to resign.

“I would want to have a conversation with him before I could make a specific statement that he 100 percent doesn’t represent constituents and the community,” Owen said.

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