- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A controversial elected official in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is remaining unapologetic amid calls for his resignation over a tweet that disparaged gay politicians.

Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty said he was just following the lead of President Trump, who routinely uses his Twitter account to express his opinions.

“Generally speaking,” Mr. Beaty wrote Tuesday, “are gay politicians too self-absorbed and self-centered to adequately represent ALL of their constituents in a fair and equitable manner?”

The post comes less than a week after Democrats Julian Cyr and Sarah Peake, who are both openly gay, were named to leadership positions in the state legislature, the Cape Cod Times reported.

Mr. Beaty’s tweet was swiftly condemned by both state parties.

“There is no place in the public arena for this kind of talk, and we cannot condone such outrageous behavior,” James Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, said in a statement.

“I’m calling for Commissioner (Ron) Beaty to resign, I’m that upset,” Republican state Rep. Timothy Whelan told the Cape Cod Times. “I don’t even know what else to say.”

Ron Beaty’s comments on Twitter are abhorrent, and just the latest in a pattern of bigoted, sexist, xenophobic rhetoric, ” said Veronica Martinez, executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Mr. Beaty told the Cape Cod Times that he was not referring to any particular person in the tweet, but he “had people make some statements to me in recent weeks, so I thought I’d look for other people’s opinions on the matter.”

“I’m not picking on anybody in particular,” he added.

Mr. Beaty, who served 14 months in federal prison in 1991 for threatening to kill President George H.W. Bush and then-Sen. Ted Kennedy, defended his Tuesday remarks as constitutionally protected speech and said he’s only following the president’s example.

“I pretty much only do what President Donald Trump does relative to his social media postings,” he told the Cape Cod Times. “If it is good enough for our president, whom I support 100 percent, then it is good enough for me as well.”

In a separate statement to CapeCod.com, Mr. Beaty refused to apologize and declared that he would not heed the calls to step down.

“In this country, we have something called the United States Constitution, which includes our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech!” he wrote, in part. “Since I have nothing wrong, then I have absolutely nothing to apologize for, and most assuredly will not consider resigning from my position as Barnstable County Commissioner!”

Mr. Beaty has come under fire for his social media activity in the past, including posts that criticized the #MeToo movement and Parkland school shooting survivor-turned-gun-control-activist David Hogg.

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