Lawyer seeking Pinellas-Pasco judgeship reiterates anti-LGBTQ views

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Pinellas-Pasco circuit judgeship candidate Donald McBath is standing by his anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim commentary ahead of Aug. 28’s primary election.

“If the homosexual continues committing that sin of sodomy, his soul faces ETERNAL damnation,” McBath shared via Facebook Feb. 25, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times May 30. “Abstain, if you really have that mental illness. It’s not love.”

The candidate also shared via Twitter that Muslims are “deranged,” following a post advising to “never trust a Muslim.”

McBath confirmed the authenticity of the social media posts to the newspaper, advising that his personal beliefs should be viewed separately from his campaign for judge. “I absolutely can still be fair no matter what kind of beliefs that I may have,” he shared. He further noted that “we all have our own personal beliefs based on what’s happened in our lives, and as long as it doesn’t interfere with how we treat a person, that’s the goal.”

Despite this, the 61-year-old family law attorney in Wesley Chapel subsequently stressed his anti-LGBTQ views. “Let me make it more clear,” he reiterated to the newspaper via text message, “Jesus condemned sodomy!!!!”

Watermark reached out to McBath on multiple occasions but received no response. Following public outcry, his campaign website was updated to include an official statement. “I have very strong personal beliefs about what is right and wrong,” it begins.

The statement addresses seven points, beginning with his anti-Muslim views and addressing his anti-LGBTQ viewpoints fifth. “As a Christian, I love homosexuals too,” he wrote. “I just don’t like the sinful act of sodomy. In my personal opinion, the Bible is clear as to the sin. It is unnatural.”

“It doesn’t mean that two males or two females can’t be best friends,” McBath continued. “Our Lord Jesus Christ talks about the fact we should love the sinner but hate the sin. God came to the earth to save us so we could all go to Heaven. It’s up to each one of us to conduct ourselves in a Godly manner.”

McBath subsequently reiterated that he believes he can “make a fair decision as a Judge and apply the law to the facts no matter what a person believes.” He says he will “seek the TRUTH and apply the law of the land.”

The candidate’s campaign website advises that “it is easy to forget that Judges are also public servants.” It continues by noting that “Donald is a lifetime public servant and believes his greatest attributes are those he has learned from serving his country and the public; a strong work ethic, knowledge of the law, the importance of the separation of powers, patience, wisdom, and compassion.”

“Don McBath has revealed himself to be incapable of treating the LGBT community with dignity and respect,” Equality Florida’s Nadine Smith shared with the Tampa Bay Times. “He lacks the temperament required of a judge to deal impartially with the facts.”

McBath will face Pinellas-Pasco prosecutor Doneene Loar in the nonpartisan primary election to replace retiring Circuit Judge Frank Quesada on Aug. 28.

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