“I just thought it was inappropriate, and people need to take a stand against homophobia,” he said. “Im shifting my support to Michael Smith.”

The quote is from Keith Bailey, a former Chamber of Commerce board member in Largo Florida. A man who has been a strong supporter for Mary Gray Black who is Michael Smith’s opponent for the Largo City Commission. What prompted this change endorsement from Bailey? In a few words, homophobia inciting political tactics. The linked story from the St. Petersburg Times/tampabay.com tells the full story.

At a luncheon where the two candidates were to speak, Black who is described in her literature, as a Christian and married for 48 years. She told the crowd, in front of her opponent, “I’m going to challenge my opponent to be truthful to you, to give you all of his endorsements, to give you his background and what he truly believes.”  You see Michael Smith is gay, and has been endoresed by the local Stonewall democrats club.

To Smith’s credit, he repied, telling the crowd, “I think what she is referring to is that I happen to be gay. I’m not running as a gay commissioner, I just happen to be gay. I think people are more concerned about property taxes and the economy.”

See any trend here similar to what we are seeing in National politics? The conservative/Christian approach is always to demonize and “other” the gay person, instead of focusing on jobs and thew economy which are the two subjects most important to the majority of voters at every level of government. Their goal is to win, at any cost.

Keith Bailey offers a great example or reply behavior though. Speak out and push back against homophobia and the use of gay-baiting as a tactic to win. Hold elected officials and those running for office accountable for what they have done and will do, rather than buying into the hate mongering and demonizing of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans persons.

via Accusations of deception, homophobia fly at faceoff in Largo Seat 1 race – St. Petersburg Times.

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