NEW YORK (PIX11) — The emotion activists and elected leaders want Mayor Eric Adams to feel was clear in their chants Thursday: “Shame, shame, shame.”
The group was once again criticizing the mayor for appointing three men who have previously expressed anti-LGBTQ bias.
“These appointments say more about the mayor’s values and his lack of willingness to engage with and serve the LGBTQ community,” activist Shear Avory said.
One of those appointments is Fernando Cabrera, who was named a senior adviser in the newly created Office of Faith Based Community Partnership. The Bronx pastor and former city councilman sparked outrage after a 2014 trip to Uganda, where he made comments praising the country’s anti-gay policies. At the time, Uganda’s government was planning a law that would make homosexuality punishable by life in prison.
“The tax dollars of LGBTQ New Yorkers are about to begin paying the salary of a man who has waged war on our rights,” Councilmember Chi Osse’ said Thursday.
Cabrera apologized for his comments, and the pain and suffering they’ve caused, in a Facebook post Monday. In the post, he said he strongly believes in the rights of all people, “regardless of sexual orientation.”
He’s not the mayor’s only controversial pick. Adams is also under fire for choosing Erick Salgado — who opposed same-sex marriage during his 2013 run for mayor — as an assistant commissioner. He also previously described homosexuality as a mortal sin.
In a statement released by the mayor’s office, Salgado said his views have evolved as society itself has evolved as well.
The third controversial appointment, Brooklyn pastor Gilford Monrose, was chosen as executive director for the mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. He’s previously been critical of same-sex marriage, calling homosexuality as a lifestyle he “does not agree with.”
In a statement, Gilford said he will guide his office with tolerance.
Still, critics said the appointments are telling.
“One appointment might be an oversight,” state Sen. Brad Holyman said, “two appointments is a mistake. Three appointments is a troubling, troubling pattern.”
Earlier this week, Adams vowed to stand by his appointments. He said he believes their views have changed.
“I’ve sat down with all of my appointees,” he said. “I believe that what they stated, and how they feel … I heard them. I accept their apologies.”