A religious extremist running for city council in Walled Lake is creating controversy on the internet. Dan Lauffer, also known as Carson Lauffer and Carson Daniel, has attacked gays, transgender individuals, women, Muslims, Jews and African Americans in a series of Facebook posts and comments and other social media messages dating back several years.
A greatest hits of Lauffer’s offensive zingers, as reported by the opposition website http://www.danlauffer.com, include the following claims:
“Even developmentally disabled people know that transvestites or crossdressers or whatever they call themselves are not quite right in the head;” “Those who understand that most blacks do not act fit to be in a civil society may be correct;” “Reforming an Obama supporter is like trying to pick up a turd by its clean end;” “The homosexual activists devised a wonderful plan to convince the Western world that the church is evil and moral perversion is actually a gift from God. Disney World has a gay pride day. What about an alcoholics day? Pedophile day? How [about] Abortionists day? Bestiality day anyone?” and “Matthew Shepard’s murder was over a drug deal and robbery and had nothing to do with a hate crime against homosexuals. He was a scumbag.”
The opposition website goes on to claim that the candidate, whose campaign manager identified him as a “retired Christian minister with a traditional Biblical view of homosexuality,” was actually forced out of the clergy by Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton, the former episcopal leader of the Illinois area of the United Methodist Church, for “behavior which undermines the ministry of another pastor” while Lauffer was living in Joliet, Illinois.
In Michigan, Lauffer unsuccessfully ran for the Michigan House in the 38th District in 2014. A solidly Republican district, Lauffer lost the election to a less extreme candidate. Despite his bold views, Lauffer’s campaign for city council has received little media attention. In a WJBK-Fox 2 news story on Wednesday, reporter Ericka Erickson confronted Lauffer about some of his more disturbing quotes. Lauffer denied saying some of them and said he “might have” said some others. He told the reporter he was running for city council because “well, I’m retired and I was bored.”
Nathan Triplett, director of public policy and political action for Equality Michigan, said that Lauffer’s views disqualify him from public service.
“It’s very clear that Mr. Lauffer’s repeated use of racist, sexist and homophobic language clearly indicates that he cannot be entrusted with the responsibility of serving on a local legislative body and treating all citizens and visitors to his community with the respect and dignity that they deserve and are entitled to under the law,” Triplett said. “Free speech is not the issue here. No one contests Mr. Lauffer’s right to believe and to say what he likes. The issue is whether someone who holds those beliefs is capable of providing equal protection under the law. It is patently obvious that Mr. Lauffer could not do that should he be elected to the Walled Lake City Council and it is my hope that after being presented with this evidence his residents will strongly reject the hateful language that he has used by not electing him to serve in public office.”
Lauffer will run for a city council seat in November with other candidates Gabriel Costanzo, Bennett Lublin, Chris Orick, John Owsinek and Robert Robertson.
A group of concerned citizens started a Change.org petition and have collected more than 130 signatures so far.