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Outrage after Republican candidate tells voters ‘don’t be weak and gay’

Valentina Gomez, a Republican candidate for Missouri secretary of state, stoked outrage with a video in which she ran down a street while wearing a protective vest and said: “In America, you can do anything you want, so don’t be weak and gay. Stay fucking hard.”

Jason Kander, a former Democratic Missouri secretary of state and candidate for US Senate, said with sarcasm: “So refreshing to see a female GOP candidate who never served in the military doing the whole veteran cosplay, stolen valour, bigotry as a substitute for strength routine as well as any man.”

Observers noted that Gomez’s video was filmed in the Soulard District of St Louis, a historically LGBTQ+ neighbourhood.

Gomez’s tweet included the handles for Andrew Tate, a British influencer, and his brother Tristan Tate, a kickboxer, who deny charges of human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.

Gomez said her video featured music by “the great Lupe Fiasco”. Users pointed to the rapper’s statements against homophobia, including: “You should not use words like ‘faggot’ it’s derogatory and unacceptable … no room for homophobia in hip hop.”

On Tuesday, apparently in response to the video, the rapper said: “We are aware and currently taking action.”

Gomez, 25 and from St Louis, describes herself as “a real estate investor, financier, strategist, former NCAA Division I swimmer, relentless achiever, and a fierce advocate for the principles values we hold dear as Americans battling for a better future”.

Like many other short videos Gomez has made, the ad featuring her running included an image of her holding a large gun. Others show her firing guns, including at an inflatable Star Wars stormtrooper.

In February, Gomez posted a video in which

Read more on theguardian.com