‘Make Arkansas Great Again’ candidate quits after ranting about ‘disgusting fags’
A candidate who vowed to ‘Make Arkansas Great Again’ has ended his bid for office – after he was caught using anti-gay slurs.
Justin Jones, who was running for District 87 in the Arkansas House, made the comments in a Facebook post about the ban on gay men donating blood.
Jones wrote: “The likelihood of a fag catching HIV is 1000% more likely then any straight person… fags are disgusting.”
Responding to criticism, he added: “If you don’t think HIV is created by homosexuality then you need education. That’s the entirety of my post, for someone who wants free speech, you don’t act like it.
“I shouldn’t have said ‘fags’ should have said homosexuals. But I won’t apologise of the moral of my comment, homosexuality is wrong, and shouldn’t be publicly endorsed.”
Jones, a former Republican who was running as a Libertarian candidate, also channelled US President Donald Trump with a vow to “making Arkansas great again.”
He initially refused to step down over the comments – but has now confirmed he will be suspending his campaign.
In a statement to KARK, he said: “Effective immediately I will be suspending my campaign for State Representative of District 87.”
He also pulled down his campaign website and social media platforms.
Jones’ abrupt exit from the campaign comes after he attempted to defend his actions.
He added: “I recently made a comment that was meant to be satire, but had FACTUAL meaning.
“In the new day of Social Media, we face backlash for every comment we make, which is putting ‘Free Speech’ at a price. The Aids Epidemic is a VERY big part of the LGBTQ Community.
“To not recognize that would be a ‘Lie’ to yourself and the LGBTQ Community. In this New Day of politics, we are recognising the benefits of throwing away the old establishment, and how that didn’t work.
“Today, we are bringing back ‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH,’ and protecting our 2nd amendment rights. That might be too much for some people, but that’s why we’re getting them out of Public Office.
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“Let’s get back to ‘Making Arkansas Great Again.’ Vote Justin Jones for State Representative, District 87.”
The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas, Dr. Michael Pakko, said: “The tone of Mr. Jones’ comments are completely antithetical to the inclusive, tolerant position of the Libertarian Party.
“We believe that the rights of the individual are paramount – that each person has the right to make decisions for themselves about what activities to pursue, what foods to eat, what beverages to drink, and who to love.
“On the rights of LGBT individuals, in particular, the Libertarian Party has always been a champion of equal rights. In fact, the Libertarian Party has supported marriage equality since its founding in 1971.
“Mr Jones is within his rights to associate with gay individuals or not, and to have opinions of his own about morality, but the denigrating, insulting comments that have been attributed to him have no place in the political messaging of the Libertarian Party, and we disassociate ourselves from such offensive remarks.”