Largo City Commissioner Mary Gray Black is up for re-election, and her opponent, 30-year old Michael Smith just so happens to be gay. In recent town hall meetings, Mary Gray Black has compared the gay lifestyle as being similar to a "drunkard lifestyle".
Mary's comments against her opponents sexuality was both innapropriate and completely unnecessary. Call on Mary Gray Black to apoligize for her comments and to denounce homophobia!
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- Mary Gray Black (Largo City Commissioner)
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Mary Gray Black (Largo City Commissioner).
Demand that she denounce homophobia
Mrs. Black, I write to you today to express my dismay towards your attitude towards members of the gay community. Your recent remark towards your opponent Michael J. Smith will not be ignored, and myself along with thousands of others are urging you to apoligize to him to show others that any form of discrimination or homophobia is wrong. Comparing his gay lifestyle to that of a "drunkard" is absolutely innapropriate and completely unneccessary.
As a public official, the things you say and the actions you take can have a fundamental impact on members of the community. As a member of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) , when you make homophobic remarks, it may influence others to think it is acceptable, when it most definetly is not.
I also want to take a moment to share with you my own story that relats directly to this petition. Throughout my sophomore year of high school, I was persistently bullied and harrassed for my perceived sexual orientation. Many of the kids involved felt that there was nothing wrong with that they were doing, and many of them had this mindset because of influence from anti-gay political leaders and religious leaders.
The ordeal that I endured for many months resulted in severe anxiety, severe depression, and a suicide attempt.
I simply want to make it clear that words are powerful. And the comparison you made between a gay lifestyle and a "drunkard" lifestyle does nothing but promote hate and inequality.
I, along with thousands of others ask that you make a formal apology to Michael J. Smith and to also publicly denounce homophobia so our community knows that it's wrong.
Prejudice, Discrimination, and Inequality are unacceptable and should be condemned.
As a fellow citizen in the city of Largo, I hope you will have a positive and productive response to my petition.
Anthony J. Risk
18 years old
Anthony Risk started this petition with a single signature, and won with 1,627 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.