Gay Missouri Political Candidate's Banner Defaced With Homophobic Slur

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday July 5, 2022

Justice Horn
Justice Horn  (Source:Twitter)

A gay activist in Kansas City, Missouri, just shared on Twitter exactly why he is running to fill a seat in his county's legislature.

As reported by The Kansas City Star, LGBTQ activist Justice Horn posted a photo showing his campaign banner had been defaced with a gay slur over the weekend. But the act of vandalism has only strengthened his resolve, according to him.

"Today I learned that my campaign banner was defaced with a homophobic slur here in Kansas City, he tweeted. "I'll admit, this one hurt because like so many us of who experience this, this word is used to harm us. Either way, I'm not going to back down and I'm going to hold my head high."

Making an impact in his community, Horn lobbied the Kansas City Council to create the city's first LGBTQ+ Commission and is seeking to be elected to represent the First District on the Legislature. The district covers downtown Kansas City, portions of the urban core and some parts of south Kansas City within the county's boundaries.

"I don't know how much more blatantly that this was a hate crime," Horn told The Star in an interview on Monday about the vandalism. "It was specifically targeted at me because of my sexual orientation."

Horn said what bothers him the most is that the act of vandalism happened in broad daylight.

"They were so emboldened to do this. It was specifically a defacing to attack me not based on my policy or my candidacy but on me personally," he said. "It was the same as calling me the N-word."

He added, "It's below the belt and it's unfair."

Horn reportedly has not decided if he should file a police report but has kept the sign up to serve as a "big eye-opener to what it's like running openly as a queer person," he said.

This is the first time Horn has sought elected office, but he has been a frequent and an outspoken supporter of a number of progressive causes in the community, including LGBTQ+ rights and local law enforcement accountability. Following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020, Horn helped organize demonstrations in protest.

"This stuff is hard and we're gonna face push back from folks who don't change," Horn said about running for office. But he's determined to stay the course.

Vivent Health, an organization serving affected by HIV through prevention, care and treatment programs, condemned the act, tweeting: "Sadly, as #ViventHealth President and Chief Executive Officer @mikegiffordceo wrote recently, this is another in a series of attacks on the #LGBTQIA+ community."