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Gay Santa Clara mayoral candidate claims he's being slurred, threatened

Eric Alliix Rogers
Flickr / Creative Commons

Councilmember and mayoral candidate Anthony Becker said in the past few months he has received death threats and been subjected to homophobic slurs, as the city's first openly gay policymaker.

The San Jose Spotlight reports that Becker said his partner has also been harassed. Becker wants his opponent, incumbent Mayor Lisa Gillmor, to speak out and stop the discriminatory behavior against him and the LGBTQ community.

So far, Gillmor has been mum.

Becker said the primary culprit is Robert Haugh, whose blog--Santa Clara News Online--is often retweeted by the mayor. Comments from that blog have surfaced against Becker, including calling him the "monkeypox candidate."

Bob O'Keefe, a former city council candidate endorsed by Gillmor, also made homophobic comments toward Becker that landed in Haugh's blog. He referred to Becker as "low hanging fruit" during a city council meeting in February. This elicited multiple comments directed at Becker that later surfaced on Haugh's blog, including one where an anonymous commenter said Becker is the "lowest hanging fruit" and "Dingle Berry" is a good fit.

Becker asked Gillmor to respond to homophobic comments from readers on Haugh's blog at a Dec. 14 city council meeting, which she would not publicly admonish.

Gillmor would not comment about the homophobic remarks directed at her colleague from Haugh's blog or Twitter. She told San Jose Spotlight that "I did not share a post where a local blogger made homophobic comments."