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Minnesota Mayor Told to Resign by LGBTQ+ Group Over ‘Sin and Brokenness’ Comments

Minnesota Mayor Told to Resign by LGBTQ+ Group Over ‘Sin and Brokenness’ Comments

Mayor Tom Kuntz

He asked the community to pray in advance of a July 8 Pride celebration.

The mayor of a southern Minnesota city is facing demands for his resignation from LGBTQ+ citizens after he asked whether stripper poles would be present at a Pride event at a church and posted a public prayer referencing the event’s “sin and brokenness.”

The Star Tribunereported that Rainbowatonna organizer Nathan Black wrote to Mayor Tom Kuntz, a Republican who’s held the office since 2004, and the Owatonna City Council, complaining that Kuntz harassed and intimidated Pride celebration participants.

In his public letter, Black reported that Kuntz talked to pastors involved with Associated Church’s planned celebration service about two weeks before it occurred. He said the mayor appeared upset and asked several “bizarre” questions, including whether stripper poles would be installed in the sanctuary. He wasn’t concerned until he learned last month that Kuntz posted a prayer he wrote disparaging the LGBTQ+ community on social media.

“His behavior these past few weeks has been problematic, but finding a public ‘prayer’ that he wrote that articulated his bigotry shows that his behavior wasn’t just problematic or maybe even an emotional accident… Instead, his letter shows that his actions come from very intentional, premeditated bigotry,” Black wrote.

“The only satisfactory response from Mayor Kuntz is his immediate resignation. There is no place for homophobic bigotry in city government,” he added.

Black included in the public letter an interaction with the mayor where he asked about having a proclamation issued in celebration of the LGBTQ+ pride event. The mayor wrote back saying he couldn’t do that.

According to Kuntz, upcoming public events would require wisdom in the face of a celebration where “sin and brokenness will be celebrated and where sexually explicit acts will be normalized.” Kuntz did not specify an event but urged people to pray “until July 8,” according to the Star Tribune.

Kuntz wrote, warning of LGBTQ+ indoctrination while pushing religious indoctrination in the following sentence, “We pray that these public acts would not draw in young children or impressionable teens with curiosity. We pray that you would guard the hearts and minds of children and help us to bring them up in your Word.”

Members of Rainbowatonna met with Kuntz on Monday after initially calling for his resignation, Black told The Associated Press, the wire service reported. Another meeting is planned for later this week.

The group is seeking an apology from the mayor “that acknowledges the impact of his actions,” along with diversity and sensitivity training for the mayor and city staff, Black said.

Rainbowatonna also requests that Kuntz appoint one of its board members to the city’s human rights commission.

“If he meets these demands, and we’re hopeful that he will, then we would withdraw that request” for his resignation, Black said.

Nevertheless, Kuntz said publicly to Black, “I did what I thought was the right thing to do,” adding, “My intent was not to harass or intimidate anyone. My words were my own and not those of the City. I try each day to follow my own faith and beliefs, but I also recognize other people have the right to follow their own faith and beliefs too.”

He continued, “Please accept my apologies.”

According to Kuntz, he offered to talk to Black about the issue. The Owatonna People’s Pressreported last week that Kuntz confirmed some points in Black’s letter saying, “A couple people asked if there was going to be pole dancing, so I asked that.”

Additionally, he expressed his belief that God would disapprove of drag shows and homosexual acts.

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