Long before he was a window cleaner and Gainesville mayor candidate, Don Marsh played chess.

The key to being a good player, he said, is having the discipline to play the board instead of the opponent, and the same applies to the campaign trail for Gainesville mayor.

For Marsh, this election cycle has been one grueling game against a tough and seasoned opponent, City Commissioner Craig Lowe.

As the two prepare to face off once more in an April run-off election, both candidates emphasized the importance of sticking to the issues instead of resorting to political mudslinging.

But for Lowe, this campaign season has been plagued by people whom he describes as “want[ing] to drive a wedge in the political community.”

Despite his pledge to focus squarely on the issues, Lowe has faced a slew of personal attacks, mostly pertaining to his sexual orientation.

“None of this would come up without the attacks,” he said. “There’s no reason for it.”

One of the most prominent examples were fliers that were distributed across the city that said Lowe was responsible for allowing men in women’s restrooms. The fliers claimed to be sponsored by “concerned citizens of Gainesville.”

Another flier attempted to mimic one flier from his campaign. The pink flier mockingly advocated for the support of a “gay agenda.”

More recently, the Dove World Outreach Center, a local church known for its controversial stances on Islam and homosexuality, has made it clear it will not support a gay mayor.

In a video posted on YouTube, Wayne Sapp, a pastor with the Dove World Outreach Center, made the case that the city of Gainesville cannot afford to have a gay mayor.

“Here in Gainesville, they’re getting ready to have a run-off election between two candidates, and one of them is openly a homo, gay, fag — whatever you want to call him,” Sapp said. “We got one running for mayor of Gainesville, trying to convert Gainesville into Homoville. We can’t have it. “

The video, which has since been removed from YouTube due to a violation of the site's terms of service, called out local churches for not standing up for what, Sapp said, the Bible preaches.

“We feel it’s our obligation to speak out that homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle,” said the Rev. Terry Jones, the church’s senior pastor.

According to Jones, all videos put online that feature Pastor Sapp or himself  have been endorsed and approved by  the Dove World Outreach Center church.

Such statements could infringe upon Section 501c3 of the IRS tax code, which regulates political involvement by religious groups.

Mike Dobzinski, the IRS spokesman for the state of Florida, could not comment on the church’s specific case but did note that any political participation by a religious organization may jeopardize a church’s tax-exempt status.

As the election season continues, Marsh said, members of Lowe’s campaign could  use his sexual orientation for political advantage.

As far as using it as a political advantage, Lowe and his campaign manager, Garrett Garner, were baffled.

”I don’t even know how you would go about doing that,” Garner said.

Correction 3/25/10: The Alligator originally misspelled Garrett Garner's name. This has be corrected.


(25) comments


It's pretty simple, Garret. You keep positioning your candidate as a victim instead of dealing with his seven years of ignoring the Koppers disaster, and all the GRU rate increases he voted for. His orientation is irrelevant, which is why your people (at the Alligator) keep bringing it up.


This video is horrible! It's hard to believe this came from someone in Gainesville. GNV is so much more friendly to gay people than this. Mr. Lowe doesn't deserve this kind of hate speech -- I hope he wins. He's the only one running for mayor who supports equal rights for gay people like me!


When Craig Lowe's opponents post a video like the one above, DIRECTLY attacking Commissioner Lowe for his sexual orientation, it becomes a campaign issue. Also, simplifying Mr. Lowe's voting record doesn't make sense when one considers his experience, working to manage a $100M budget during the 7 years he's served on the commission. Oh, and he is also the only candidate in the mayoral race who secured Koppers' pledge to leave Gainesville so cleanup can begin.


Mr. Dontwc: I don't understand how one can "position" Craig Lowe as a victim when he is, in fact, being persecuted by hateful, ignorant residents not for his political vision and performance but for his sexuality (which IS irrelevant but seems to be the focus of his adversaries, not supporters).


I certainly wouldn't accuse the Lowe campaign of using his sexual orientation as a platform issue. That would be silly of them. But you can't deny that it energizes his base of supporters when he is unfairly attacked by morons. HRC.org, the website for the Human Rights Campaign, a nationwide LGBT rights group that claims 700,000 members, has publicized the fliers against Mr. Lowe and urged its members to go to craiglowe.com and get involved in supporting him. Craiglowe.com also advertises the fliers as a reason to get on board the campaign. So this one nut who went around passing out ignorant, crudely written fliers (and who has since been arrested for harassment) and wasn't even affiliated with any candidate's campaign has wound up getting Lowe nationwide attention, not to mention donations. How is that a bad thing for him? I don't blame the Lowe campaign for exploiting that. Any candidate would probably do the same thing. Likewise, the recent opposition from the despised crackpots at Dove World Outreach is a blessing for Lowe. If people see a vote for Craig Lowe as a vote against the bigotry displayed in that video, he will win easily.

I will not be voting for him, however. First, the Koppers plant has been an EPA Superfund site since 1983 and has only in the past year been told to leave, right before Lowe started running for Mayor. What took him so long? Go to gainesvillesuperfundlawyers.com to see what our city commission has been dragging their feet on. Lowe's record on that issue is unimpressive at best. Second, he supports the expensive, one stop, city-run homeless center when there are many local non-profit organizations who will care for and house the homeless for free if the city will lift the restrictions on them. Third, the city commission controls GRU, which has given us the highest utility bills in the state. Because the city has recently bought up so much land off the tax rolls, they must raise utility rates to make up the shortfall. Since we were under budget this year by $7 million, we can expect our bills to get higher.

Don Marsh has never brought up Mr. Lowe's sexual orientation and as a volunteer for his campaign, I can't tell you how frustrating it is that it seems to be all that the Alligator ever wants to talk to us about. Is it because they find skyrocketing utility bills and toxic waste in the middle of town uninteresting?Our campaign is based around the fact that we don't want our city to go broke and we don't want poisonous dioxins in our air and water. If Craig Lowe had done a better job on these issues, most of us would be voting for him.


Gainesville is very friendly towards gays. There have been a few incidences with the police and their treatment of gays. If you feel this has happened to you or you would just like to show some support, I encourage you to come out to the Coalition for Justice Against Police Brutality on April 6 at 4 p.m. at Turlington Plaza. We're going to be demanding more transparency for incidences involving police and gays.


Voting for Craig Lowe is voting against bigotry, but not because of the poorly executed smear campaign. The other candidate has actually advocated repealing the non-discrimination ordinance for LGBT people that was approved by over 58% of voters last year. Mr. Lowe has been a strong leader for equality and human rights in our community, but that's not his campaign platform. While we're at it, there's no mention of the fliers on CraigLowe.com. Where did you see that? I'd argue that Craig has been working effectively as a commissioner while others have been fixated on his sexual orientation. The good news appears to be that it serves only to set well-meaning and ethical voters against his opponent.


Holy cow this guy goes on for a while in the video. Does he really think this will convince people? But what else would you expect from the "Islam is the Devil" (at first they omitted "of" which I found very funny) folks.


Jbissoneault, I have no problem with anyone supporting Craig Lowe, I'm sure he's a good person, and I have respect for anyone who holds office and puts up with the criticism that comes with the job. I just think Don Marsh has better policies on the most important issues, GRU, the homeless, and Koppers.

I'm well aware of Marsh's views on the LGBT ordinance because we've talked about them at campaign meetings. He doesn't think anyone should be denied housing or fired from a job over sexual orientation. Ask him. The problem is not the spirit of the ordinance, but the wording. It gives heterosexual predators a legal excuse to use women's facilities if they claim an "inner sense" of being female. I'm not afraid of a transgendered individual using the stall next to my wife, I'm afraid of creepy straight males. I've worked with guys before that I really think would do that. Anyway, if he is elected, revising the bathroom ordinance will be an extremely low priority, and probably impossible anyway with the other 6 commisioners who are there. It's a distraction. Anyone voting for Marsh because of bias against the LGBT community will be bitterly disappointed if he wins. But you're right about craiglowe.com, my mistake. It was an online Alligator article I was thinking of. Regardless of who wins, I'd like to think that we can be good neighbors afterward and ignore the likes of Dove World Outreach. Just please don't lump us in with them!


GvilleFan: Why refer to the recent legislation passed as the "bathroom ordinance"? It strikes me that you are trivializing and misinterpreting an ordinance protecting the rights of transgender citizens. The ordinance is designed to protect people from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodation and obtaining credit. Only opponents to it and people who did not fully understand it were focused on "bathroom" issues -- this is an anti-discrimination ordinance.


Because I approve of the ordinance aside from that one part. Thank you for correcting me on the terminology. Now please respond to the argument.


GvilleFan: I happen to BE transsexual, and it's only been the bigots who bring up the bathroom issue as a typical fearmongering tactic. They used it 50+ years ago to justify segregated toilets during the Jim Crow era.

It's a *fact* that there have been absolutely *zero* incidents of a straight guy posing as a transperson in order to gain access to a ladies toilet in order to sexually assault someone!

I've been in thousands of ladies toilets, and I use it just like every other cisgendered person does. It's a non-issue, Gville... only in the fevered minds of cowards and bigots who can't realize the fact that I happen to have rights under the *secular* Constitution, and their religious excuses holds about as much water as a cup without a bottom.


Homosexuality is sin! It is our responsibility as Christians, churches, pastors to address that. If we don't preach that our society goes down the hill and people go to hell. If we don't preach that people have no chance to turn from their sinful ways and receive forgiveness.
Thank God for people like from the Dove church, that are not to lazy and afraid to speak up.


Its great and more than necessary that the Christians stand up for God and righteousness. Sin stays sin even if it getting normal today. And a homosexual mayor is not what we need. We need to turn back to God and set an example for the next generation.
How can we be open and tolerant to sin? This is not condemning homosexuals but giving them a chance to turn and repent!


Homosexuality is sin and is a perverted lifestyle.
If we as Christians care about the truth of the Bible and about the future of our children we have to stand up for what is right. What kind of example do we set for our children if we teach them the Word of God but with our actions we show that they are not worth fighting for??? Dove World Outreach Center is right for speaking out boldly against sin and false religions.


AS A CHRISTIAN - I mean a true christian - and if we also actually do know the bible - then it really should not be a new thing to us that homosexuality is an abomination to God ! But if this is aggravating and offending you - then that is proof that you are not a true christian and do not have any fear of God at all.

Well and if you are not a christian and this is offending you then know that God is merciful and slow in anger yes, that is true, but how long do you want to provoke God and believe that He wont see or keep His wrath from you ?
Dont be deceived! God is good, but he will also punish us if we do not turn to Him!


1 Corinthians 6:9-12: 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor HOMOSEXUAL OFFENDERS 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 12 "Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.


I appreciate those folks at Dove World Outreach Center for doing the job many others should be doing and that is safeguarding our moral future by standing up for what is morally right. Since so many have advocated the gay lifestyle, the homosexuals have stepped up their agenda in the further perverting of our youth in our schools through pro-homosexual literature. Voting for a homosexual Mayor only advances the homosexual agenda further which shows favortism and acceptance for a perverted lifestyle. Homosexuality is a sin and a person must see the future consequences of their actions and the resulting negative outcome by letting those who have no morality enter into an important office such as the Mayor of Gainesville.


Please vote sensibly and pick the better candidate, one who will not add to the future moral decay of our society.

anka doris

Did we forget the beginning of Christianity?
What is God's commandment?
"Be fruitful and increase in number,
fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:28
We allow foreign Religions to influence our freedom and we tolerate a lifestyle of immorality, what is fruitless and destructive and put in charge someone who is on the same level...???
This is like sitting on a bomp and playing with matches.
What shall we answer our kids when they ask,
"Mommy,why do these two man walking hand in hand"?
Or why did the terrorists flew into our Twin Towers?

Than we have to deal with the aftermath of Sin in a fallen world!!!
Help us to reach out and speak God's commandments out loud, before it is to late!!!


The Bible says "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Part of 'seeking first the Kingdom of God' is obeying the commandments of the Bible, which states very clearly homosexuality is wrong. If you are gay then you need to repent and come to Jesus- you were NOT born like that - God created you to be fruitful and to multiply. Even in the natural sense two of the same sex cannot multiply amongst themselves - it just does not work logically or spiritually because you disobey God. Even in the Bible we can see that the homosexual lifestyle is destructive. Read the account of Sodom and Gomorrah and you will find God destroyed those two cities because of the sin of homosexuality created a great outcry that rose to heaven and God could not bear it because he is a righteous God! We can only have righteousness, which is being in right standing with God, through the blood of Jesus. He is the only way to salvation.


I see that the comments have gone literally crazy. Avert your eyes fair readers! :-)


My sister lives in Florida. I am happy that she is a Christian and tolerant of those who do not feel like she does. The bible was written by men who have twisted the words of our Lord. Love thy brother as thy self. Judge not lest ye be judged. Why do these words seem to be overlooked?


"the commandments of the Bible, which states very clearly homosexuality is wrong. If you are gay then you need to repent and come to Jesus- you were NOT born like that"

The bible clearly condemns the pegan sex rituals (which were most likely between straight men anyway), but I have yet to see someone like you mention the only real biblical analog to gay couples today ... the eunuchs in the bible. Most of those eunuchs "born eunuchs" or as the very early church described as men with a natural inborn aversion to intimacy with women (yet no phsical reason blocking it, even basic infirtility ... ie, gays). Basically every culture has had an understanding of gays / "born eunuchs" / "third genders," and almost all of them, including the early church, saw it as inborn and not a matter of sin or corruption. And of course we now have a lot of science to back up thousands of years of history and the collective independent experience of many millions of people.

You have to have your head in the sand (regardless of knowing any gay people or not) to think that people sit down and choose who they are attracted to, physically and/or emotionally. I think its a bit absurd to claim as well that something as complex as the brain, and easily invfluenced by hormones in development, is ALWAYS developed as expected given external features. The body and sex organs dodn't even always follow the simple XX or XY genetics, either turning out "wrong" according to that plan or questionable as to gender.


This below is copied from another post but, everyone should read this......

Hil Folks, if you want to know more about those "christians" check out this website:
The website is a parody but the letter is 100% authentic.
Terry Jones and his wife had to flee from Cologne, Germany after massive spiritual and financial abuse in the CGK, the church in Cologne founded by Terry Jones. All you can do is pray that GOD opens the eyes of the members of dove world and stops the ongoing abuse in this sect, that it is.

Besides that above....

Dove World Outreach sells on Ebay under two ebay id's as "TSandcompany" and "Artcollector-usa" and ship their items using their own trucks called TSCmoving.com.
They tout their religious services on TSandcompany , but the only way anyone knows they are also Artcollector-usa is when ...you go to pick up furniture--it's at the church.
But all 3 of the names can be traced to their address. But why do they feel they need not tell who they are? All those people on ebay have no idea who they are buying from or who they are supporting, Why?

Open your eyes members of Dove world before its to late for you!


To learn more about this church , you may find this video of intreresting , be sure to read the comments there.


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