dirty politics

City council candidate runs ad attacking opponent for being bisexual, swears he’s not antigay

Republican Adam Cox is currently running for a seat on the Indianapolis city council. Last week, he put out an ad attacking his Democratic opponent Ali Brown for being bisexual.

Brown shared a screenshot of the ad on Twitter. It shows her wearing a “The Future is Female” next to text that warns, “Liberal Ali Brown endorsed by LGBTQ Victory Fund.”

The LGBTQ Victory Fund is a political action committee founded 1991 dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBTQ public officials in the United States.

“My opponent thinks being a member of the lgbtq community is a bad thing,” Brown tweeted. “This is why we need comprehensive hate crimes legislation.”

After putting out the blatantly homophobic ad, Cox tried saying the whole thing was being blown out of proportion, that he’s not antigay, and that he doesn’t want anyone to “doubt my support of the LGBTQ community.”

Then he accused Brown of taking the attack on her identity “out of context.”

“My opponent has taken a screenshot of one second of a longer ad, distorting it out of context,” Cox said in a statement to The Indianapolis Star. “The ad highlighted that Ali Brown is a liberal and it scrolled through six liberal organizations that support her, including Progressive Change, Vote Mama, Everytown for Gun Safety, Planned Parenthood, LGBTQ Victory Fund, and Moms Demand Action.”

He added, “The LGBTQ Victory Fund is a liberal organization that supports liberal candidates and organizations.”

This, of course, isn’t true.

In reality, the LGBTQ Victory Fund is a nonpartisan group that supports openly LGBTQ political candidates and has supported both Democrats and Republicans running for office over the last nearly 30 years.

In response to the ad, the LGBTQ Victory Fund put out a statement on Twitter saying, “We are appalled that in a major city in 2019, LGBTQ candidates like @aliforindy are still being attacked for who they are. The purpose of this ad is clear: to use Ali’s identity as a wedge issue. We condemn this ad in the strongest terms.”

Speaking to The Indianapolis Star, Brown said, “My identity isn’t something to be attacked. You want to push back on me on something else, that’s fine, but we’re in a state where we don’t have any protections for people who identify as LGBTQ … and to see somebody use that as a dog whistle, that’s where my thought was — how is this hurting kids?”

She added, “It’s kind of been, to be honest, a really uncomfortable thing for me. I think when somebody attacks on something like this, it pushes us back.”

Related: This bisexual Democratic candidate has Republicans shaking in their boots and for good reason