Republican judge candidate Donald McBath says gays have ‘mental illness’ and face ‘eternal damnation’
A Republican candidate running to become an elected judge in Florida has claimed that homosexuality is a “mental illness”
The comments come from Donald McBath, a Republican candidate to replace Circuit Judge Frank Quesada on the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
McBath faced questions about his suitability to be a judge over the February 25 post, which states: “If the homosexuals continue committing that sin of sodomy, his soul faces ETERNAL damnation.
“Abstain, if you really have that mental illness. It’s not love.”
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, McBath said: “I absolutely can still be fair no matter what kind of beliefs that I may have.
“We all have our own personal beliefs based on what happened in our lives, and as long as it doesn’t interfere with how we treat a person, that’s the goal.”
However he told the outlet: “Let me make it more clear. Jesus condemned sodomy!”
The candidate has also posted disparaging comments about Muslims.
Stetson University College of Law professor Louis Virelli III, an expert in judicial bias, told the newspaper: “[It’s] terribly bad form to elect a judge who has committed to strong negative feelings about an entire segment of the population that he or she is going to be responsible to administer justice to.”
Of the prospect that McBath may have to recuse himself from cases relating to minorities, he said: “It is going to put a strain on the system.
“I can’t imagine a Muslim litigant or lawyer would not take seriously the prospect of a recusal motion if these statements are true and if they reflect the judge’s thinking, and there’s no reason to believe that they don’t.
“They are going to be making arguments and presenting evidence that his prior statements indicate he isn’t inclined to believe them based on who they are.”
Despite his apparently devout Catholic religious beliefs, McBath currently works as a divorce attorney.
Nadine Smith of Equality Florida said: “Don McBath has revealed himself to be incapable of treating the LGBT community with dignity and respect.
“He lacks the temperament required of a judge to deal impartially with the facts.”
In a statement McBath said: “I have very strong personal beliefs about what is right and wrong.
“As a Christian, I love homosexuals. I just don’t like the sinful act of sodomy. In my personal opinion, the Bible is clear as to the sin. It is unnatural.
“It doesn’t mean that two males or two females can’t be best friends. Our Lord Jesus Christ talks about the fact we should love the sinner but hate the sin.
“God came to the earth to save us so we could all go to Heaven. It’s up to each one of us to conduct ourselves in a Godly manner.”
He added: “I stand by my statement: ‘I can make a fair decision as a Judge and apply the law to the facts no matter what a person believes. I will seek the TRUTH and apply the law of the land.’
“I firmly believe that we can learn something from every religion, ideology, political party, country and person, as long as we keep our minds and hearts open to God.”
Voters will go to the polls on August 28 for the primary.
McBath is up against Pinellas-Pasco prosecutor Doneene Loar.
On Twitter the candidate describes himself as a “Trump supporter; Pro-God; Catholic; Pro-Life; Pro-Gun; Anti-Sharia; Anti-Liberal; Conservative USA Constitutionalist; Rotarian; Divorce Attorney.”
The Republican Party has faced an influx of openly homophobic candidates in recent years.
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