After HRO expansion passes, opponents vent their rage at Lenny Curry – Florida Politics

After HRO expansion passes, opponents vent their rage at Lenny Curry

During the five-year debate ahead of Jacksonville codifying LGBT rights in its Human Rights Ordinance this week, opponents often couched their rhetoric in the Christian gospels.

However, with the bill having passed, the gospel of love has morphed into the rhetoric of hate.

Getting the worst of it: Mayor Lenny Curry, who respected the supermajority of the City Council and did not veto the bill, even as he made it clear Tuesday evening that he believed the legislation “was unnecessary. But this evening, a supermajority of the City Council decided otherwise. This supermajority, representatives of the people from both parties and every corner of the city, made their will clear.”

In other words, Curry was respecting the City Council’s prerogative to set policy, his own position on the bill notwithstanding.

However, some of Curry’s erstwhile supporters seem to believe that he should have usurped the authority of the council and forced a confrontation with the legislative branch over this issue.

Consider a text Curry received Wednesday from Nancy McGowan, who apparently is a Republican activist.

“Why did you run for mayor Lenny?  To implement a blessing on homosexuality and a mental disorder called transgenderism?  What a disgrace you are as a former Republican.  As a former Christian and most importantly the legacy you have left to your own children and those in the community.    You should have never run for office as you have compromised the very person you were and that is so sad.   You lied to all those who supported you and for what gain?”

McGowan’s position is remarkable, as Curry never said he would veto a bill, just that he wasn’t going to push a bill through.

He told media that he would stay out of the process with the City Council, and he did just that.

McGowan’s decision to attempt to read a former Republican Party of Florida chair out of the party is an odd one for her to have made. And her decision to question Curry’s faith goes beyond oddness.

Curry forwarded these texts to his chief of staff, noting that “people should not be texting me stuff about city business. Please get those text messages in my city email account so we are in compliance with public records laws.”

And in that inbox, the text messages became part of an anthology of vitriol, in which character assassinations abounded because he didn’t thwart the will of the council — all 19 members of which were duly elected, just like the mayor.

Another all-star of recent public comment periods, Pastor Wade Mask, also impugned the mayor’s integrity in an email.

“I was encouraged when I was part of a group that met with you last year. You did not commit to anything, but constructed what you said in such a way that I certainly believed that you were with us. Was I ever wrong,” Mask wrote.

Curry, wrote Mask, “could have vetoed it and made them overturn it with the twelve or if Ms. Brown showed up by making her vote one way or the other.”

[Editor’s Note: LOL]

Mask had hoped that one day Curry would be governor. But not now, alas.

“There is an old country saying, ‘Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.’ I will not be fooled again,” Mask added.

Still more feedback greeted the mayor in his email box.

Angela Strong wrote the following: “This is a very family oriented town with values and morals that we can be proud of. I would think that in light of the results of the Presidential race and the obvious majority voting for American values that you would know in your heart that if you wish to be supported in the future you might want to pay closer attention to what the families of your city want for our children’s future.”

Pastor Jim Wilder mused that “The only problem is that this violates the word of God. May God have mercy on your souls!”

Larry McQueeney contended that “the fact you did not veto that hideous bill makes me sick to my stomach.  That is intellectually dishonest and morally wrong.  You have betrayed the people of your hometown to get what?  A state appointment?  Really?”

Keri Petty, meanwhile, wanted to see Curry primaried should be not veto the bill.

“Lastly, this legislation as w/all LGBT legislation(local, state, & federal)has nothing to do with “equality”, but REDEFINITION! They’re wanting to redefine the normal boundaries of civilization for the last 5,000 to 7,000 years. I voted for you & I’m hoping to vote for you again should you choose to run again. However, if you approve this bill, you will not have my vote & I hope the Republican Party will bring a strong Republican candidate that would consider the issues of the MAJORITY of the population of the city to run against you in the primary,” Petty wrote.

Carol Thomas, likewise, was irked.

“If you think you covered your butt by not signing the HRO 2017-15 Ordinance the council foolishly and despicably passed, I wouldn’t count on it.  We know it came in under your watch and we know what you did to stop it.  Nothing,” Thomas wrote.

“Can’t wait to vote against you.  How long do I have to wait?  If there is a recall effort, I’ll be in on it.  This was not what I voted for.  False advertising!  Family values, my granny! But aren’t you modern!  So was ancient Rome, when it wasn’t ancient.  How spineless can you be? I’ll be looking for your name on ballots for years to come, just for the pleasure of voting against you,” Thomas added.

Karl Klein had this take: “A super-majority on one vote is not the fig leaf you think it is.  You can and should veto the ordinance anyway.  Make the City Council revote and see if they can maintain the super-majority.  You have gone back on your word and betrayed the people who voted you into office.  With Republicans like you, there is no need for Democrats.  I will do everything I can to ensure you are never elected to any position in government.”

And John Green had this measured insight: “This will be your Legacy – ‘One Term Curry let the HBO pass on his watch’.”

Certainly, more communiques like these are on their way to Curry’s inbox. Thus far, though, the vituperation is outstripping the congratulation.


  1. Your bias is showing. Why not publish comments made to the 6 councilmen who opposed the HRO. Show the hate these men have received.

  2. The Mayor is an honorable and good man. He is a man of faith, as well.

    All of these stones cast in judgement don’t mean a hill of beans. It’s just the baleful wail of identity politics and character assassination.

    Another news day comes and goes . . .

  3. I believe Mayor Curry should have supported the bill and would expect him to come out in favor of equality for all Jacksonville’s residents. It saddens me to see the supposed faithful of our fair city behave in a way that contradicts the values they purport to hold dear.

  4. The fairness was in the people. The fairness came when the bill was knocked down, did not pass several times through the people. The fairness came through the people at town hall meetings, city council meetings, etc. The fairness came when the representatives of the people pass this into law. It was fairness not on one person. One person did not choose the law. It was a representation of all people over many years, for and against. It was not a sneaky devised plan. It was publicly know. This passed because all representations voted it to be. It was not a personal, single person of one mind or agenda who made this happen. Not one. There is a lot that will and will not become law or even that we like. This is why it is called, ” America”.

  5. Council members were threatened to vote for this measure “OR ELSE”. Others we paid off (Haxouri got 140K) and pastors bribed to support it (RL Gundy was opposed in 2012 but switched his position after receiving 30K, more like 30 pieces of silver), and Lenny Curry when asked about it pre-election assured family values voters that had he been mayor, he’d have vetoed the ordinance. This is not a bill about equality for all. This is “the subtraction for some bill” (loss of the 1st amendment in the workplace) or “the superiority over others bill” (because this gives the LGBT community nothing they didn’t have before), but by letting it go by Lenny becomes the republican Benedict Arnold and has now made Jacksonville women unsafe by allowing men in the women’s restrooms, showers, and dressing rooms. Shame on him for lying about his veto. Shame on him for leaving the women and children exposed.

    1. Amen! Well said. Spoke the truth for many of opponents of this Special Rights bill for a very small majority😢

  6. Not surprised that you didn’t put my post up earlier. Probably made too much sense for a liberal article like this.

  7. Please bring it back for a vote as I think it was a dull, slow process now that I read all the remarks. If Mr. Curry made Jacksonville feel secure in keeping our city safe and secure then this bill definitely does not address any positive safety issues. Our youth and ladies have been thrown to the wolves if you see what will take place now. Each step down from our moral fiber does not make a city strong.

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