A Newport Beach, California city councilman stirred strong emotion after sending an email blast this week claiming that the LGBT community stole the rainbow, which was "God's symbol that he wouldn't destroy the world by flood again," according to the Daily Pilot.
The message was sent to constituents of the Orange County beach city on Monday by Councilman Scott Peotter, the Pilot reports, and takes on the LGBT community's use of the rainbow as its symbol.
He bashed the White House for its rainbow light display after the Supreme Court's landmark June 26 marriage equality ruling.
"I do find it interesting that the homosexual movement adopted the rainbow as their symbol, as it was God's symbol that he wouldn't destroy the world by flood again," Peotter wrote. "… maybe they are wishful thinking."
Peotter explained he was referring to the passage in the Bible's opening book, Genesis, that tells the story of Noah, who built an ark to escape a massive flood meant to smite evil humanity. At the end of the flood, a rainbow appeared and is said to be God's promise that there would be never be such a flood again.
"The homosexual movement is taking a symbol that was meant for something else and is corrupting it for their use," he told the Pilot. "The people that are out there criticizing me for [the email] are leading the cry for no name calling and tolerance, but they're intolerant of any view but their own."
According to the Daily Pilot, Peotter has long crusaded against the LGBT community. He used to be part of the Irvine Values Coalition, which tried to cut gays and lesbians out of Irvine's municipal ordinance protecting human rights.
Peotter's letter garnered widespread condemnation in a city that is largely supportive of its LGBT employees and boasts an openly gay city manager, according to the Pilot. The local paper came out against him, noting the rainbow flag gained prominence in the community in the 1970s.
Designed by artist Gilbert Baker, it was likely inspired by the Judy Garland song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and was first flown at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978.
"If Peotter had taken the time to do a simple Internet search, he would have discovered the rainbow flag's history has nothing to do with End Times," Daily Pilot columnist Barbara Venezia writes.