A Gainesville, Florida church is urging
voters to reject openly gay mayoral candidate Craig Lowe with a sign
that says “No Homo Mayor” posted on its property.
City Commissioner Lowe, who captured
just over 40% of the vote in a field of 5 candidates in the city's
mayoral election last month, will face rival Don Marsh in an April 13
runoff election. Marsh trailed Lowe with 29% of the vote.
A sign posted on the property of the
Dove World Outreach Center says “No Homo Mayor” – a slogan
repeated in a video created by one of its pastors, Wayne Sapp.
“No homo mayor,” Sapp says in the
video. “Here is Gainesville, they're getting ready to have a
runoff election between two candidates and one of them is openly a
homo, gay, fag – whatever you want to call him, I don't care.
Bottom line is we cannot afford a homo mayor.”
“We got one running for mayor of
Gainesville, trying to convert Gainesville into Homoville,” Sapp
adds. “We can't have it.”
In a second video, posted
on the church's website Saturday, Sapp goes on to defend his
“On the last video, I said we can't
afford to have someone like a homo as mayor,” Sapp says, then adds
that's because he believes gay men and lesbians are out to force
themselves upon society.
“Speak out against homosexuality.
Speak out against the ones trying to force themselves and their
lifestyle on you, on your children.”
“The world is going to hell,” he
Before the March 16 election, Lowe was
attacked for supporting a city ordinance that bans discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender
protections) in the areas of employment, housing and public
After city leaders in 2008 approved
adding gender identity to an anti-discrimination measure that already
included sexual orientation, opponents campaigned to place an
initiative to repeal the law on the ballot. Voters in the college
town, however, disagreed and the law remained in place.
One flier alleged that Lowe is
“'responsible' for legally allowing men into women's restrooms!”
For his part, Lowe has pretty much
ignored the controversy.
Marsh, however, has accused Lowe
supporters of falsely labeling him anti-gay for not denouncing the
“This week it was brought to my
attention that Craig Lowe supporters were going through the Stephen
Foster neighborhood removing my signs and defaming me as a
gay-basher,” Marsh says in an April 1st blog post. “I
hold Craig Lowe personally responsible for this because he and his
willing accomplices keep raising the specter of gay bashing without
making any effort to hear from me, his only opponent!”
Marsh says he called Dove Ministries
personally and asked for the sign to be removed.