Politician responds to homophobia accusations with a pooping dog GIF
A politician responded to complaints about his record on LGBT rights with an animation of a pooping dog.
North Carolina state senator Joel Ford is a candidate in the Democratic primary to become the Mayor of Charlotte.
Sen. Ford, who is hoping to unseat incumbent Democratic Mayor Jennifer Roberts, has a mixed record on LGBT rights – breaking ranks to vote for a Republican bill that would permit state officials to ‘exempt’ themselves from same-sex marriages.
The lawmaker has also been outspoken in the controversy over the state’s anti-LGBT law HB2 – backing ‘compromise’ deals on the issue that LGBT rights activists say favour Republicans.
In a tweet responding to accusations of homophobia from LGBT activists this week, Sen. Ford cryptically posted a GIF of a defecating dog.
The message was later deleted, but not before it was picked up by more activists questioning the politician’s stance.
Speaking to WFAE, his campaign manager clarified that he had picked out the image from Twitter’s inbuilt GIF keyboard, and had not filmed the clip himself.
They said: “He used that one, because he thinks that when people like that come for him on Twitter… it’s easier than sitting down and typing out the same response each time.
“I think there’s a disconnect between trying to use GIFs as a way to communicate with people and what they actually mean. You end up with a problem like this where what he wants to convey and what comes across [are] two different things.
Ford denies the message was intended to be dismissive or homophobic, but has now attempted to apologise for the “inappropriate” GIF choice.
Speaking to the Charlotte Observer, he explained: “It is a dog who is being creative, who doesn’t want to get wet or cold, using the bathroom.
“To provide context, I am tired of being slandered by some people on Twitter as anti-LGBT and homophobic. I have worked to find solutions that are realistic and impactful but some people do not see it that way.”
However, he conceded: “It was inappropriate and for that I am sorry.”