A Tampa Bay area attorney running for circuit judge in Pasco and Pinellas counties is under fire for controversial comments he posted about Muslims and the LGBTQ community.
Don McBath, whose firm is located in Wesley Chapel, said he stands by his comments.
McBath said aside from his personal opinions, he claims he can be impartial in the courtroom if elected.
Advocates and attorneys are upset.
Some of his comments include “never trust a Muslim” and “Muslims are deranged” and “Jesus condemns sodomy.”
Immigration attorney Ahmad Yakzan said McBath would not be impartial if elected.
“So when you go to his Twitter feed and literally every single Tweet or like on his 364 likes is something that’s against Muslims and minorities, how can you take that out of context,” said Yakzan. “I don’t think he’s going to be impartial. I mean when you actually bomb Mecca and call it a toilet bowl, how are you going to be impartial, when you’re on the bench.”
Muslim faith advocates said McBath has a one sided view of people with different beliefs and life styles.
“Should we condemn the whole group for a few individuals, that’s totally insane to do that,” said Abdul Karim Ali, Chairman of Tampa Bay Area Muslim Association, Inc.
In a response to News Channel 8’s request for a statement, McBath sent the attached document.
Luke Blakenship with St. Pete Pride said:
His comments are hate speech, plain and simple. This way of outdated thinking has no place in our society and candidates vying for elected office should work to unify our diverse community, not condemning citizens on religion or sexual orientation. It’s impossible to conclude that Don McBath will be impartial to Muslims or gay people with his history of intolerant comments.
McBath claims he’s opinionated about every group but the media is only cherry picking his comments because he’s running.
A meet the candidates judicial forum, presented by Florida Citizens for Social Reform, is happening June 30 at the Historic Fort Harrison at 10:30 a.m.
Advocates said they plan to attend.