GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. – A group is calling for the resignation of a Grosse Pointe Shores city councilman after he posted a controversial meme about sexual assault on Facebook.
Progress Michigan is calling for Councilman Matthew Seely to resign, saying his Facebook post made a joke about sexual assault.
“My work on City Council is on a volunteer basis. None of us are paid," Seely said. "I have no reason to resign.”
"This type of behavior cannot be tolerated by a public official," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. "It’s disgusting, dehumanizing, and it makes light of sexual assault and rape. This meme is an attack on survivors. Matthew Seely needs to step down immediately and publicly apologize for making jokes about such a serious crime. Sexual violence is a real problem in this country and we need to have public officials who recognize that, not make fun of it for political purposes. It’s disturbing that there are people and online communities who tolerate this type of behavior, but we cannot allow it to be present in our city governments."
The meme shows a woman consoling another woman beneath the caption, "I'm so sorry that bad man touched you inappropriately." Underneath the picture, it says, "Let's wait 30 or 40 years until he runs for office against a Democrat."
"My personal political views are my right to express, and I don’t understand why these organizations that are supposed to be into free speech and the Bill of Rights are so interested in censoring me," Seely said.
Progress Michigan said Seely posted the meme Sept. 17 on the Michigan Trump Republicans group page. The group said Seely has a habit of posting memes that objectify women and make light of sexual assault allegations.
"I also find what’s going on in Washington with this claim against Kavanaugh to be disingenuous, dishonest and politically motivated," Seely said.