Cameron Hamilton, the mayor of Porterville, California, is facing major backlash after advising victims of bullying to "grow a pair" at a recent town council meeting.
"I'm against bullying, but I'm getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything, and the ills of the world," Hamilton said, according to ABC Fresno
. "All most people just have to grow a pair, and stick up for them damn selves."
"It's hard to just 'grow a pair' when you're a 10-year-old girl," responded Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola.
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"Then maybe the other 10-year-olds that think they want to stop bullying will stand up for her, instead of a safe zone and a placard and a bunch of training that goes on," Hamilton retorted.
Students and faculty at Burton Middle School originally proposed the safe-zone legislation, which has since been withdrawn, The Los Angeles Times reported
Melissa McMurrey of LGBTQ-rights group Gay Porterville said she felt the mayor's comments were insensitive to young gay people, who are often the target of bullying, The Associated Press reported via The Fresno Bee
Hamilton stood by his remarks, telling the AP that he is not anti-gay.
"The message is, together we can all fight this thing," he said.
Porterville made headlines last year after then-Mayor Gurrola proposed declaring June LGBT Pride Month. It was later changed to a month dedicated to community charity and good will to all, which Hamilton says he voted in favor of.
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