Gay business owner runs for mayor in ‘God Hates Fags’ church hometown
A gay entrepreneur is running to be the Mayor of Topeka, a town famous for being the home of the anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church.
The hate group, which is famous worldwide for its ‘God Hates Fags’ slogan and homophobic protests, bases its operations out of the town of Topeka, Kansas.
They probably won’t be happy to hear that a local gay restaurant owner is making a bid to become the Mayor of their hometown.
Chris Schultz, who is openly gay, announced his candidacy this week for the office of Mayor, ahead of the retirement of incumbent Larry Wolgast.
The candidate is well-known locally due to his involvement in community projects as well as his two restaurant businesses, the Break Room and Field of Greens.
Launching his bid, he said: I’m asking for your support to serve you and the city I support as Mayor.”
Recalling his involvement in local community projects, he added: “Genuine leaders start in the trenches, earning the privilege to lead because of the sacrifices they’ve made.
“If you decide to bestow me with the privilege of being your Mayor, I will continue my mission of using my experience to make good things happen in our community, as your most trusted and loudest voice for a brighter future.
“It would be a great honour to serve you, my friends and neighbours, as your mayor.”
Of his sexuality, the candidate said that he didn’t think local residents would consider it an issue in the race.
Mr Schultz added: “I’m not in the closet and I’m never going back in one.
“I’m not looking back, I’m only going up. Anyone who is willing to work to make our community a better home is a darn good pal in my book.. and welcome to join in no matter what makes them different. Our diversity is what makes us strong.”
Sharing a video he made previously for National Coming Out Day, he added: “Let’s get this part over with so we can get back on the issues that will make or break our community.”
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In the video, he said: “I grew up knowing what it was to be a minority. I was left-handed, red-headed, partially-Jewish and gay. Despite the stereotypes from a life of hiding and shame, my traditional Kansas values wanted me to be with one person for the rest of my life. I just dreamed about Prince Charming instead of Snow White.”
He recalled how the homophobic murder of Mathew Shepard inspired him to come out and challenge homophobia.
The WBC travelled to Orlando last year, with the intention of protesting as many funerals as possible with ‘God Hates Fags’ signs after the Pulse club massacre.
However, hundreds of local residents thwarted the group’s attempts – turning up ahead of Westboro and forming a human chain around the memorial locations.