Less than a week after the Hampton Roads LGBTQ community united in an effort to force Commissioner Brother LaKendrick Coburn El to resign his seat on the Virginia Beach Human Rights Council (VBHRC), following his inflammatory homophobic and transphobic statements on social media, El’s spokesperson told 13 News Now in an email that he resigned in person at Virginia Beach City Hall. This comes a day after El told The Virginia Pilot on Monday that he would not resign until he had a chance to address the VBHRC at their next meeting, rescheduled for November 14.
Last week, in the midst of the media attention that El’s statements attracted across the nation, the VBHRC scheduled a meeting for the afternoon of October 31, ostensibly to discuss El’s past statements and accept his resignation as El told The Virginia Pilot on October 26 that he would resign from the VBHRC on Halloween.
Sylvia Nery-Strickland, Chairwoman of the VBHRC, told The Virginia Pilot that the meeting was moved from Halloween evening due to public pressure, so the conversation will occur at the group’s next scheduled meeting on November 14.
At the time of posting, 980 people have signed a change.org petition to have El removed from the VBHRC. Following last week’s press conference (which you can watch below), where Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer, Vice Mayor Jim Wood and a majority of the City Council signed a statement saying it was inappropriate for El to serve on the VBHRC.
As this story continues to develop, we will post updates.