Working People in Unions Condemn Harassment and Hate Crimes Against Black Hawk County, Iowa, Supervisor Candidate Chris Schwartz

This is Trump-style politics at its worst.

Chris Schwartz, an openly gay man, our union brother (American Federation of Musicians Local 137) and Pride At Work member, is running for county supervisor in Black Hawk County, Iowa. If successful, Schwartz would be the first openly gay man to serve in that role. Recently, he has been the target of repeated homophobic harassment, including from his opponent.

Recently, the harassment turned into a hate crime when his home was vandalized. Under cover of darkness, vandals spray-painted “Fag” and “Lev. 20:13” on his home and campaign yard signs in this latest escalation of anti-LGBTQ sentiment. The reference to Leviticus 20:13, which suggests being gay is punishable by death, was interpreted as a death threat by Schwartz.

No one, including those running for public office, should be subject to this treatment. Hate speech and destruction of property are not American values and have no business in our elections.

Schwartz isn’t being swayed by the attacks. His campaign is about the issues important to Black Hawk County voters, not personal attacks.The hate and bile spewing from Donald Trump and his supporters are trickling down to county-level races, and we have to fight back.

We are better than this. Trump-style political tactics cannot be allowed to spread.

If you agree, sign our petition rejecting Trumpian politics.

Pride At Work will always stand up for our members on the job and wherever they go. When one of us is under attack, we’re all under attack—that’s just the way labor does things.

Jerame Davis is the executive director of Pride At Work, an AFL-CIO constituency group representing LGBTQ union members and their allies.