Tuesday, November 29

An Ohio county sheriff refuses to back down from transphobic social media post

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Despite hundreds of comments from local community members speaking out against his actions, an Ohio county sheriff has refused to take down his Facebook post, which many have labeled as transphobic.

Richard K. Jones has served since 2005 as sheriff of Butler County, located in southwestern Ohio. He is a cigar-chomping, stetson-wearing elected official who has appeared multiple times on cable news programs, including Fox & Friends.

Butler County in southwestern Ohio

On May 11th, Jones used the verified Butler County Sheriff’s Office Facebook account to repost a Fox News article criticizing U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine’s affirmation of gender affirming care.

In the post, Jones used the Sheriff Office’s account to repeat the Fox News criticism with an added comment of “Wow, what a guy!” seemingly in reference to Levine, a transgender woman. He concluded the post with, “Speaking the truth ain’t for sissies folks.”

The post was quickly shared across social media, eliciting hundreds of comments, including a host of Ohioans questioning why these transphobic comments were an official stance being taken by an Ohio sheriff’s office.

The Butler County Democratic Party posted the following response:

We are deeply disappointed, though not surprised, that our sheriff’s office feels this is appropriate to post on the official government office’s page. This is a political opinion – and a bigoted one at that – that should not be on this page and surely doesn’t represent all of the employees of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

For his part, Jones has refused to either delete the post – it remains public at the time of this writing, one week after being posted – or to acknowledge the potential harm of his words.

When asked by a Local12 reporter about the concern that his post would make trans people feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in Butler County, Jones was forceful in his reply:

“Well, that’s bullshit. My quote was less than one sentence. Didn’t say anything about hate or anything. I said, ‘What a guy.’ So, what the hell does that mean?”

Jones is no stranger to his comments eliciting controversy.

At the start of the pandemic, he declared publicly that he would not be the “mask police,” refusing to enforce any proposed mask mandate or have his deputies stop people and tell them to put on a mask.

In 2020, he made headlines for saying that he would personally contribute $10 to any celebrity who threatened to leave the country if Donald Trump were to be re-elected, but that he would only pay out the $10 if the celebrities promised to never come back. 🔥

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The Buckeye Flame amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ Ohioans to support community and civic empowerment through the creation of engaging content that chronicles our triumphs, struggles, and lived experiences.

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