A school board member in Maine who called gay marriage a “rape of the natural world” refused to resign Tuesday after more than 150 residents signed a letter demanding his ouster. William Shepard, a school board member in Stonington, said he was sorry if anyone was offended by comments he made on Facebook, but he stood by his Christian beliefs. “I will not ever apologize for my Biblical convictions,” he said at the meeting. The residents presented the letter to the school board Tuesday, though it said it had no way to remove Shepard other than for him to voluntarily resign. Shepard’s Facebook comments, which he has since taken down, also included attacks against the designation of June as Pride month.
A former school board member spoke in favor of Shepard’s resignation, while a local pastor said Shepard’s departure would lead to a silencing of other viewpoints. Shepard, incredibly, was angry with townspeople for showing him the kind of hatred he had shown to the LGBTQ community. “I am in shock of the hatefulness shown to me and my family,” Shepard said, according to the Bangor Daily News. “I respectfully decline your request.”