Clint McCance, vice-president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, said tonight he will resign after posting an anti-gay diatribe on his personal Facebook page.
"I'm sorry I've hurt people with my comments," McCance told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. "I'm sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum."
Last Wednesday, as millions of Facebook users took part in a "Spirit Day" campaign to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens, McCance apparently wrote a series of posts expressing the opposite position.
As first reported by The Advocate, a leading gay and lesbian newspaper, McCance used the words "queer" and "fag" several times on his page and said he enjoys "the fact that they often give each other aids [sic] and die."
He added, "I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. "
State and Local Education Officials Denounce McCance
Responding to the Spirit Day call for supporters to wear purple, he wrote, "Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide."
ABCNews.com could not reach McCance for comment and the posts have been removed from Facebook.
Human Rights Campaign said it first learned of the posts from R. Anthony Turner, a 1998 graduate of Midland High School.
On a page calling for McCance's resignation, HRC has posted a link to a PDF of McCance's Facebook posts.
The posts not only have attracted the attention of human rights groups, they have drawn condemnation from school officials across the state of Arkansas.
Online Petitions Attract Thousands of Supporters
In addition to calls for resignation from The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Human Rights Campaign and National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment, the Facebook group, "Fire Clint McCance," attracted more than 50,000 members.
A separate petition, supported by GLAAD and Change.org, was signed by more than 12,000 supporters.
"On Spirit Day, millions of Americans, including principals, parents, celebrities and TV hosts, stood up against bullying and sent a powerful message of support to gay and transgender youth," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "After this overwhelming support, it is truly saddening that an elected school official would make dangerous statements that fuel a climate of fear and intimidation in the classroom and community, undermining the purpose of school boards -- to create an environment of education and acceptance."
Though they do not condone his words, they stopped short of asking for his resignation.
"I strongly condemn the statements that appeared on Mr. Clint McCance's Facebook page. These comments in no way represent the viewpoints of the thousands of dedicated public school board members, administrators, faculty, staff and students in Arkansas," Tom Kimbrell, Arkansas' commissioner of education, said in a statement. "I have been in close contact with the Midland School District superintendent and school board president. They are aware of my strong feelings concerning this matter and I know they share in my grave concern. Along with the members of my staff, I will continue to closely monitor this situation."
When asked about whether McCance should be removed from office, a Department of Education spokeswoman said that under state law, elected school officials only can be recalled by the local community in cases of felony convictions or absenteeism.
In this case, the only way for McCance to be removed from office was if he stepped down of his own accord, she said.