Human rights commissioner will keep his position after saying gay people are an ‘abomination to the human race’

Human rights commissioner kenick el

A human rights commissioner in Virginia said being trans is a “mental illness” and homosexuality is an “abomination to the human race”, but is keeping his position.

Kenick El was appointed to the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission (VBHRC) this year and, according to 13News Now, on October 21 he shared an article on Facebook about a trans woman being convicted of sexual assault on a child.

He wrote in the post: “This is why we need to stop giving men in dresses passes.

“I have daughters and I won’t accept them sharing a restroom with a grown man suffering from this mental illness.

“Men trying to be women and women trying to be men is really confusing our children and I’m tired of seeing this nonsense promoted to our children.”

When Facebook users challenged his views, he replied to one: “Homosexuality is a mental illness and should be treated as such.”

To another, he said: “Homosexuality is an abomination to the human race and it corrupts the hermetic principle of gender by interfering with the laws of nature just to gratify the lower self.”

The chair of the VBHRC, Sylvia Nery-Strickland, condemned El’s comments but did not suggest that he would lose his position.

She told 13News Now: “Kenick El is speaking as an individual and does not speak on behalf of the Human Rights Commission (HRC).

“We are a commission, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of city council. The HRC is a very diverse group of individuals who come together for the common good and equality for all.

“However, each commissioner has individual beliefs, and we do not always agree.

“I personally do not agree with the postings and other commissioners have contacted me and they do not agree as well, but rather support and value our fellow LGBT commissioners, family members, friends and supporters.”

El, in a phone interview with 13News Now, said: “I felt like it was very important for me just to express my views on my page in a very sincere, polite manner.

“I made it clear in the message, I’m not speaking on behalf of any organised group.”

He said that people were “imposing” and “promoting sexual behaviour”, and added: “I think we have a right to freedom of speech according to our constitution and freedom of expression.”

The Hampton Roads Pride board of directors wrote a letter to the Virginia Beach city council, and called for more intensive vetting of those applying to be commissioners, and for inclusion and diversity training for every person hired by the city council.