ATLANTA — A state lawmaker has withdrawn his sponsorship of a trio of bills aimed at honoring Confederate heritage following controversial remarks about the KKK.
State Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, was a sponsor of House Bills 854, HB 855 and HR 1179. HR 1179 was a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that, if approved, would require the state to “maintain an appropriate and suitable memorial to the Confederacy at Stone Mountain” and “to protect and preserve the carving on Stone Mountain.”
Benton withdrew his sponsorship following his remarks that the KKK was “a vigilante thing to keep law and order.” His remarks drew sharp rebukes from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“It was not my intention to create a situation whereby my comments would create a negative perception,” The Associated Press quoted Benton as saying in a written statement on Monday. “Therefore, today I am withdrawing my sponsorship of HB 854, HB 855 and HR 1179 to allow the business of the House to move forward in an orderly manner.”