Based on information that began circulating on social media over the last few days, more voters are now aware that David Lenoir founded the Centurion Christian Values fund. It was a mutual fund that would catered exclusively to anti-gay investors. In David Lenoir’s words, he set up this business to ensure that investors would not have to invest in companies that support the “gay and lesbian agenda.” Again, Republican David Lenoir founded a mutual fund to, in Lenoir’s actual words, undercut the “gay and lesbian agenda”.

“The Shelby County Democratic Party rejects discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation.  Non-discrimination is not a Democratic value, it’s a community value.  A prime example is Republican Sheriff Bill Oldham has been recognized for his work on equality and LGBT issues.

“David Lenoir’s decision to open a business to cater to anti-gay investors is troubling. Our next county mayor cannot encourage discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race, or any other suspect classification. He also cannot dog whistle to his base that he supports such views and not be held to account for them publicly. His decision to start a business, like the Centurion Christian Values fund, indicates that he is against inclusion, diversity, and tolerance and he should be called to account for it.”

“Even more troubling is the fact that he bragged about his success in creating this business during his announcement statement in September 2017. It indicates that Lenoir is openly against inclusion and proud of that view. Ironically, the fund wasn’t successful which is likely due to the fact that its purpose runs afoul of our our community’s values of diversity and inclusion.  If elected, his views will mean that this community will have taken one giant step backward by electing an individual who does not share its values.”

“It is worth mentioning also that, unfortunately, this is part of a larger problem in our community. For instance, we have seen other attempts by local legislators to pass laws to get businesses to refuse to serve gay customers, the so-called Turn Away the Gays bills. Moreover, we have seen a public attempt to reject initiatives that increase minority participation in our economy. Discrimination against individuals because of their sexual orientation is discrimination, plain and simple and Shelby County can’t move forward when a few people in power are deciding who gets to participate in our economy and who doesn’t. There is no room in 2018 or our future for these types of views.” 

“The Shelby County Democratic Party would ask David Lenoir and his supporters to recant negative, discriminatory views and language. We would ask David Lenoir to close down the Centurion Christian Values fund, if it or some version of it is still open for business. We would ask David Lenoir to pledge that, if he is elected county mayor, he will not support discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation. We would ask that David Lenoir promise to oppose legislative efforts to gives businesses protections to reject gay customers and/or only cater to anti-gay clientele. If David Lenoir is unable to reject discrimination and pledge to embrace all parts of our community, he should immediately drop out of the race for Shelby County Mayor.”

Press Release