Minnesota Mayor Faces Backlash from LGBTQ+ Community, Urged to Meet Demands or Step Down

After he allegedly made insulting comments and posted a public prayer alluding to “sin and brokenness” at a Pride event, Tom Kuntz, the mayor of a southern Minnesota city, has come under fire from members of an LGBTQ+ group who are seeking action from him or his resignation.

The incident has sparked controversy and drawn attention to the issue of LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance in the community.

In an open letter to Mayor Kuntz and the Owatonna City Council, Rainbowatonna’s Nathan Black accused the mayor of abusing his authority by intimidating and harassing participants in the city’s Pride festival on July 8.

The celebrations started with a service at Associated Church, then moved on to a pavilion event and an after-party with a drag show at the Owatonna Arts Center.

Black stated that Kuntz had spoken to pastors at the church approximately two weeks before the service and had asked “bizarre” questions, including whether there would be stripper poles in the sanctuary.

Initially, Black wasn’t overly concerned about the mayor’s behavior, but he became troubled when he discovered a prayer posted by Kuntz on social media the previous month. 

The prayer asked for wisdom in the face of future public gatherings that will glorify sin and brokenness and normalize sexually explicit behavior.

 Although Kuntz did not mention a specific event, the prayer’s timing coincided with the Pride celebration.

Black initially called for the mayor’s immediate resignation, citing the incompatibility of homophobic bigotry with holding a position in city government. 

Read Also: Affordability Vs. Lock-In: Tensions Rise In The US Housing Market

Controversy Erupts as LGBTQ+ Group Accuses Mayor of Harassment at Pride Event

However, Rainbowatonna members subsequently met with Kuntz on Monday and are planning another meeting later in the week. 

They are now seeking an apology from the mayor that acknowledges the impact of his actions. 

Additionally, they are requesting diversity and sensitivity training for both the mayor and city staff. 

One of their demands includes Kuntz appointing a member of Rainbowatonna’s board to the city’s human rights commission.

In response to the allegations, Mayor Kuntz released a public statement defending his actions. 

He maintained that his intention was not to harass or intimidate anyone, expressing that his words were personal and did not represent the City. 

Kuntz emphasized his commitment to following his own faith and beliefs, while recognizing and respecting the rights of others to follow their own.

Kuntz also reached out to Black, offering to engage in a dialogue to address the issue. 

Last week, he confirmed parts of Black’s letter in an interview with the Owatonna People’s Press, acknowledging that he had inquired about the presence of pole dancing in response to inquiries from community members. 

The mayor also expressed his belief that drag shows and homosexuality would not align with his understanding of God’s teachings.

The situation has generated significant attention and debate within the community, highlighting the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ acceptance and equality. 

As discussions between Rainbowatonna and Mayor Kuntz continue, the outcome of their meetings and the resolution of the controversy will undoubtedly shape the future dynamics of LGBTQ+ advocacy in Owatonna.

Read Also: China’s Second-Quarter GDP Misses Expectations, Youth Unemployment Hits All-Time High

Source: Fox News, KNSI

, , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *