The Fort Worth Human Relations Commission today (Monday, July 15) voted unanimously to recommend the removal of Commissioner Mike Steele, who posted numerous racist, transphobic and conspiracy memes on Facebook.
Steele was not present at the meeting.
The Facebook posts were discovered two weeks ago by TCU Professor Emily Farris, who posted about them on Twitter, and first reported by the Dallas Voice.
Steele is serving his second term on the commission, which advises the city council and the city manager on human rights issues, including LGBTQ issues. According to the city’s website, the commission is supposed to “(a) advise and consult with the city council and the city manager on matters involving racial, religious or ethnic discrimination; (b) to recommend to the city council and the city manager measures designed to eliminate prejudice and discrimination; and (c) to promote and encourage communications between and cooperation of all groups interested in bettering community relations.”
The meeting was called after Steele refused to resign following the revelations despite pressure from the commission and Mayor Betsy Price. In refusing to step down, Steele described himself as the “proud father of an LGBT son” and claimed he was exercising his right to free speech.
All attendees at today’s spoke in favor of removing him, including Emily Farris. Steele’s supporters submitted written comments.
Watch for this post to be updated as more information becomes available.
— James Russell