DIXON (CBS13) — A message that the town of Dixon welcomes all people didn’t sit well with Mayor Thom Bogue, whose remarks have drawn more controversy against the town’s leadership in just over two months.
Bogue is in the hot seat after making questionable remarks about the Islamic faith, lumping in followers of Sharia law with pedophiles and active criminals.
The mayor’s remarks were in response to a campaign in response to a controversy sparked by an article written by Vice Mayor Ted Hickman calling for a Straight Pride American Month in July. The article drew condemnation from across the country.
As a way to help the town come back together, messages of tolerance that read “We welcome all” were plastered on shop windows throughout downtown Dixon.
At the Dixon Florist, owners say they didn’t think twice to get on board.
“We were so excited someone brought in the sign. We hung it up right away,” said Courtney Kett.
Protesters asked city leaders spread the words of acceptance and hang the signs at city hall, but mayor Thom Bogue declined and some are now calling his reasoning Islamophobic.
“It’s a little bit shocking,” said Dixon resident Carlos Ojeda.
Bogue says he doesn’t welcome all people into the city—not pedophiles, active criminals or those practicing Sharia (Islamic) Law, which he claims gives the right to kill women and children.
“I would hate for anybody to feel anything negative about their faith,” said Kett.
Bogue declined to talk on camera saying, “Everyone has a reason to hate everybody. The only way to make it stop is to quit feeding into the hatred.”
“It’s a little much for our small town,” said longtime Dixon resident Kylie Stevens.
The small town has perceived conservative roots, but has a pretty even, slightly more left-leaning political split. While Stevens says she supports the mayor, she says she can’t believe Dixon is once again in the spotlight for the political rhetoric of its leaders.
“I know that he is a good person and his heart comes from a good place,” said Stevens, “The things that people in power are saying are corrupting the image of the town.”
Officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement saying, “We condemn Mayor Bogue’s bigotry and urge public officials and community leaders to repudiate all forms of racism, Islamophobia, intolerance or discrimination. Mayor Bogue owes our community a public apology.”