A Republican candidate running for mayor of Harrisburg, Penn., has blamed public schools for his daughter and several of her friends identifying as “lesbian or bisexual.”
Tim Rowbottom also branded LGBTQ people an “abomination” and the “product of abuse” who create “oppression and repression” for themselves and “those in direct contact” with them.
The only Republican currently running for November’s mayoral election, Rowbottom made the comments in a lengthy Facebook rant he posted last week.
“Official Press Release!” he declared. “I am lead to make clear my views concerning a large population that occupies Harrisburg, the LGBT.”
After suggesting that LGBTQ people are “weeds” amidst “good fruit,” Rowbottom urged his supporters to “look up the statistics concerning the percentages of LGBT that are a product of abuse.”
“It is not my intention to degrade or attack them in any way. I say these things in concern for those that are a product of abuse, but do not believe in enabling bad seeds inflicted upon them to continue a cycle of abuse,” he continued.
“The Bible makes it clear to me that these things are an abomination and the reasons that oppression and repression are plaguing the LGBT community and those in direct contact(CITY RESIDENTS).”
Rowbottom then called affirming LGBTQ identities “seeds of abuse” which had been “replanted as normal into the next generation.”
He then claimed that LGBTQ suicides occur when “confusion is control” and said he had “witnessed the results of living in an area where large amounts of LGBT reside.”
Rowbottom then blamed Harrisburg public schools for his daughter questioning her own sexuality as well as her friends coming out as lesbian and bisexual.
“I had to pull my kids out of these City Schools when my daughter repeatedly came home saying that 13 out of her 16 friends were lesbian or bisexual, and that she thought she may be Bisexual,” he wrote. “I have had enough!”
Should he become mayor in November — an extremely unlikely occurrence, given Democratic Mayor Eric Papenfuse was elected in 2017 with almost 90% of the vote — Rowbottom’s solution would be to ban “sexual suggestions or views” from schools.
“No more promoting LGBT views onto our children!” he added. “DEFINATELY [sic] NO TRANSGENDER MENTORS ALLOWED IN SCHOOLS AT ALL!”
Needless to say, Rowbottom’s post didn’t go down well on Facebook.
“You know you could have just said ‘I don’t want to be mayor because I hate anyone who isn’t exactly like me’ and gotten the same message across,” one person wrote.
“If you want to enforce the law, start with separation of church and state. You’re not welcome in government if you can not separate the two,” another posted. “It also sounds like you need to spend some time reviewing the Bible and who Jesus was.”
Someone else accused Rowbottom of being the real danger to young LGBTQ people, not affirming their sexuality or gender identity.
“You shouldn’t be mayor of anything and you shouldn’t be allowed around the general population,” they wrote. “You are the bully who creates situations that lead to suicide for those individuals. You’re the danger, not them.”
Rowbottom was arrested last year and charged with two misdemeanors — endangering the welfare of children and simple assault — and a felony count of strangulation (applying pressure to throat or neck).
He has previously pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol in 2002, possession of a controlled substance in 2005, driving while operating privilege is revoked in 2013, and public drunkenness and “voiding human excretion” — or, public urination or defecation — in 2018.
A 2015 charge of receiving stolen property led to Rowbottom being sentenced to 27 months in prison.
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