Vallejo Mayor Defends Religious Remarks - NBC Bay Area

Vallejo Mayor Defends Religious Remarks

Osby Davis said remarks to New York Times "taken out of context"



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    Like residents of Vallejo needed more controversy amidst city bankruptcy, the mortgage meltdown and violent crime.

    Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis is outspoken about his religious beliefs. Maybe a little too outspoken.

    In remarks to the New York Times last week, Davis said of homosexuals, "They’re committing sin and that sin will keep them out of heaven."

    "But you don’t hate the person. You hate the sin that they commit."

    Davis beat openly gay mayoral candidate Gary Cloutier by only two votes in a 2007 election that revealed a touchy divide between the city's growing number of gay couples and evangelical Christians.

    Davis issued a statement apologizing for the remarks, and arguing that they "were taken out of context."

    Openly gay Vallejo City Council member Michael Wilson told the Vallejo Times-Herald that "I do find the mayor has been compassionate and an accepting and open person."

    However, it's not the first time that Davis's religious fervor has caused concern, with some Vallejo residents worried about his rhetoric representing an intrusion by area churches into the business of the city.

    It's more bad news for Vallejo, which has been ravaged by the mortgage crisis, the city's bankruptcy and violent crime.

    Jackson West would like to point out that Davis is from the same Assemblies of God denomination of which Sarah Palin was once a member.