A few weeks ago, I covered the transphobic and homophobic scare tactics being used in the Gainesville, Florida Mayor's race. Craig Lowe was Chair of the successful campaign to stop the repeal of the Gainesville Human Rights Ordinance, which included sexual orientation and gender identity & expression. He's now running another successful campaign to become the first gay mayor of Gainesville and the only openly gay elected official in North Florida.
Well, the smears have continued as the race has heated up. As early voting began in Gainesville and supporters like Equality Florida were phone banking for Lowe, a conservative talk show took homophobic shots at Lowe and the LGBT community. One of the male hosts had received a call and said he didn't know why because he was not a “sexual deviant.”
Because anyone who gets a call about equality or cares about LGBT rights must be a “sexual deviant”? Right?
This same show has a history of radical, right-wing rhetoric and has made homophobic slurs in the past.
While their comments may not be surprising, it is clear the anti-equality forces are up in arms and still stinging after their defeat over the Human Rights Ordinance. This a huge opportunity to gain a foothold in an area of the state that desperately needs it.
As the husband of an openly gay elected official and having gone through this kind of thing during our campaign, I know how important and reaffirming our community's support can be when you are under attack from anti-LGBT forces.
Craig Lowe needs our community's help to keep the forward momentum of Equality moving in Gainesville and all of north Florida. Donate what you can to his campaign, follow him on twitter, and support him on Facebook. He can accept donations through tomorrow (Thursday), so any little bit you can give would not only help the campaign, but show your support for an activist that has been there for the community.
Just in case you need any reminding about the battle that Lowe is in for, watch the horrific trans-panic commercial the opposition used during the HRO Campaign that Craig helped lead to victory:
We talk a lot as a community about holding elected officials accountable and targeted donation boycotts towards political parties that don't keep their promises to us. The other side of that coin is supporting the people from our community, who have proven themselves as effective leaders and advocates for real political change for the LGBT community.
We defeated these anti-equality, fear-mongering forces before by rallying together and we can do it again!