The mayor pro tem of Huntersville, North Carolina, appears to have deleted her Twitter account after suggesting children should feel free to “slide into” her direct messages to talk about gender and sexual orientation.
“If you’re a kid living in a #Don’tSayGay state & feel like you don’t have an adult to talk to, I got you,” tweeted Stacy Phillips on Wednesday evening, according to screenshots posted by the “Libs of Tik Tok” account.
“You’re welcome to slide into my DMs to talk, to share, to express yourself confidentially,” she continued. “It’d be an honor to be your Auntie by blessing. You’re perfect just the way you are.”
Mayor Pro Tem of Huntersville, North Carolina just deleted this tweet pic.twitter.com/bEwUIqB68Z
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) March 10, 2022
Phillips, who serves as “mayor pro tempore” (an official who exercises authority in case of the mayor’s absence) made her account private following backlash over the tweet, the Libs of Tik Tok account said.
She reportedly updated her bio to include the hashtag “AuntLife” before deleting the entire account.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Phillips said that her statement was “taken out of context in ways I never intended,” promising to continue to “support all people” as her faith has taught her.
“I am incredibly sorry for that,” she said. “I would like to set the record straight. While I understand the purpose of the Florida bill and agree that sexual education of any kind should not be taught to our youngest children in school, the rhetoric around my statement and this bill has been incorrectly spun. In my duty as an elected official and a Christian I am here to support any and all people.”
“My use of the hashtag and my statement was intended to give visible support to those unintentionally affected by the negative discussions around these issues, not to take a side in this debate,” she added. “I will continue to represent and support all people, because that is what my faith has taught me to do.”
Her comments follow backlash over a Florida parental notification bill that prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation to K-3 children.
Critics have labeled HB 1557 the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” accusing Republicans of endangering LGBTQ youth by outing them to their parents or preventing them from learning about their sexuality.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out Wednesday in a company shareholder meeting about the bill, telling shareholders that he had called Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday morning to express Disney’s “disappointment and concern.”
“In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten,” DeSantis said in response Thursday, adding that “if that’s the hill that they’re going to die on, then how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China?”
Critics of the state’s legislation have most notably taken issue with HB 1557’s statement that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Students in kindergarten are typically five years old, while third graders generally are eight or nine years old.
Nowhere in the legislation is the word “gay” mentioned, though the word “parent” is mentioned 32 times and the word “parental” is mentioned seven times. The legislation heavily focuses on parental notification and parental awareness of what children are being taught or exposed to in school.