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California teacher resigns after penning anti-gay letter to student newspaper

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LOS ANGELES — A San Luis Obispo High School teacher has resigned amid controversy over a letter he wrote to the school’s student newspaper that cited a Bible verse saying sinners and those who commit homosexual acts “deserve to die.”

Michael Stack, a special education teacher, resigned Thursday amid widespread condemnation of the letter, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. He did not show up for work Thursday; that afternoon, he sent a resignation letter in an email on which he copied Fox News, according to the Tribune.

“The community apparently wants me out, so I hereby grant them their desires,” he wrote.

That morning, someone called the school and threatened to kill Stack, San Luis Coastal Unified School District Supt. Eric Prater told the Tribune.

Stack’s letter to the student newspaper, Expressions, was published online May 9 and was in response to a recent print issue that included multiple articles about the LGBTQ community and featured a cover photo of two women kissing.

In the letter, Stack quoted, verbatim, 17 verses from the Book of Romans regarding numerous sins, including greed, envy, murder and gossip — and homosexuality.

“And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other,” says the verses Stack quoted. “Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. … They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway.”

Stack, in his letter, said he was writing publicly “to lift up those who have stumbled, or may stumble, and put you back on the right path.”

Dozens of people rallied outside the school last week to protest Stack and to support LGBTQ rights. One large rainbow-colored banner shown in television news footage read: “Bigotry disguised as ‘Religious Liberty’ … is still BIGOTRY.”

On her Facebook page, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon called Stack’s letter “unacceptable.”

“A teacher at SLO High wrote this shaming letter against the LGBT community — A community that already has a high degree of suicide,” she wrote.

“I’ve contacted the School Board — you might do the same.”

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