Mayor Richard Kite: ‘I am not a bigot’

July 2nd, 2013 | by Erica Felci | Comments
Richard Kite.

Richard Kite.

The fallout continued today from Rancho Mirage Councilman Scott Hines’ public critique of Mayor Richard Kite.

You might remember that – during a celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriages — Hines called out Kite for refusing to issue a city proclamation.

During today’s council meeting – attended by Desert Sun reporter Blake Herzog — Hines’ council colleagues shot back.

“I am not a bigot, I am not a wimp,” said Kite, who has been blasted by same-sex marriage supporters in online forums.

Kite says he was following a longstanding Rancho Mirage tradition of not taking stands on state and federal policy debates.

Council members Dana Hobart and Iris Smotrich both praised Kite’s decision in strongly-worded statements that also supported the Supreme Court decisions.

Councilman Ted Weill made a more general statement about his own position against bigotry, inspired by the court ruling and an event at the Tolerance Education Center.

Hines stood behind his comments at the rally.

“We are community leaders. We are asked to vote our conscience,” he said about taking a public stand on social issues.

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