Indiana lawmaker issues apology, meets with domestic violence group following Facebook post

An Indiana lawmaker faced fallout this week after he shared a controversial image on social media. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indiana lawmaker who shared a controversial photo on social media this week faced fallout from party leaders.

Two images were shared on social media. A meme making fun of women who took part in marches this past weekend was shared on State Senator Jack Sandlin’s Facebook page.

The Republican said he doesn’t know how it got there, and the image horrified him. Another image of a female protester being peppered sprayed was shared by State Representative Jim Lucas.

“That’s me,” State Rep. Lucas told 24-Hour News 8 Monday. “Like it or not it wasn’t intended to be offensive to anybody. I own it. It’s on my page.”

House Speaker Brian Bosma however doesn’t think it’s funny. “I sat down, and had a good conversation with Jim [Wednesday], along with the five female members of our senior staff, and explained to him the viewpoint of those who took offense to this, including me,” House Speaker Bosma said.

Representative Lucas issued a statement, saying in part:

I want to issue a sincere apology to those that were offended by them. It certainly was not my intent to make light of domestic violence or violence towards women.”

He’s not only sorry. “He’s meeting with the coalition for domestic violence [Thursday],” House Speaker Bosma said.

It may have been Republicans involved with social media controversy, that doesn’t mean the other side wasn’t paying attention. Democrat leaders also saw the images that were shared and had a message for their members this week.

“Just because you think something is funny doesn’t mean someone else is going to construe it that way,” State Rep. Scott Pelath said. “When you’re in public office you’re held to an even higher standard.”

As for sharing the image, House Speaker Bosma said he accepted Lucas’ apology and won’t go beyond that.

“If we demoted everybody who made a mistake around here, well, there would be only you standing in the room,” House Speaker Bosma said.

Earlier this week, we asked our viewers if they found the image offensive. More than 600 answered our wishtv.com poll, in which 81 percent said it is.

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