A city council candidate in St. Petersburg, Fla., says LGBTQ Pride hurts the city’s black population, and vows to stop “their agenda” should he win.
Chico Cromartie, who made these comments, is running for the municipal office on the platform that being gay is a choice, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The newspaper took note when Cromartie, during St. Pete Pride last month, started posting virulently homophobic messages on his Facebook page.
"I hear you south St. Pete! Finally we have a leader who's not afraid to say, 'Too [sic] hell with gay pride & their flag,'" he wrote on June 23, a day after Pride began in the city.
Last week, the candidate posted a picture of a burning rainbow flag on his Facebook page. The social media for the campaign regular espouses messages heralding President Donald Trump and attacking prominent figures like athlete Colin Kaepernick.
Notably, St. Petersburg boasts a 100 rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
But Cromartie says tolerance and acceptance hurt the city’s genuinely marginalized population.
"The idea that the homosexuals should be considered to receive taxpayer dollars, based on the fact that they choose to be a homosexual, to me is not fair to the other citizens who choose not to be homosexual," he said. "And if I'm elected, I'm going to dismantle all those policies."
Cromartie is running against incumbent Lisa Wheeler-Bowman. He said the city council today has grown too comfortable with the LGBTQ community.
Predictably, the homophobic platform has upset other leaders in the community, including out councilmember Steve Kornell. He told the Times he’s upset by any efforts to pit the interests of the LGBTQ community against other minority groups.
"Because who it leaves out is anybody who is both," Kornell said. "It makes every African- American LGBTQ citizen invisible."