TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Members of the Florida Cabinet have joined the calls for Rep. Mike Hill to apologize for his response to a constituent who asked him to sponsor legislation to make homosexuality punishable by death.
The embattled representative has blamed the media for misrepresenting the exchange.
At Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried recognized June as Pride Month.
Without saying his name, Fried took a jab at Hill.
"Despite recent hurtful comments against LGBTQ Floridians, know this: That does not reflect Florida,” Fried said.
Hill is facing criticism for his response to a constituent who suggested he sponsor legislation making homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Hill defended himself and said he didn’t act inappropriately.
"I didn't even make the statement. I was simply responding to an absurd statement that was made, and it elicited laughter from the audience. I kind of chuckled and said, 'No. Let's move on,'” Hill said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and chief financial officer Jimmy Patronis have joined other top Republicans in calling for Hill to apologize.
"Mike, look, sometimes we misspoke (sic). Maybe you need to go just apologize,” Patronis said.
"I support Speaker (Jose) Oliva's comments, and I trust the speaker to take whatever actions necessary,” DeSantis said .
Some Democratic lawmakers have called on Hill to resign. They’ve also called on House leadership to either censure the Pensacola representative or oust him from the Legislature.
A rally was held yesterday in Pensacola, which is Hill’s district. More than 75 people attended and demanded Hill’s resignation.