It’s getting nasty in Palm Springs.

The Southern California Sonoran Desert city, long a respite from the LA scene, is witnessing a new level of smear. District 4 Councilwoman Christy Holstege is fending off attacks that she is faking her sexuality for votes and unfit to serve as a mother to a newborn. 

“It’s sad and distressing that people are resorting to these campaign tactics in our city,” Holstege posted on Facebook. “I worry about how this impacts people watching who may want to run for office in the future. Discrimination hurts our community, publicly silences underrepresented voices, and discourages active political participation by women, people of color, and LGBTQ people [that’s the point of it].”

Supporters of Holstege’s opponents have floated theories she lied about being a part of the LGBT community, has an “alleged husband” and is only claiming to be bisexual for personal gain and to manipulate people. 

“The coordinated attacks on Christy are biphobic, plain and simple, and it is especially horrific that she faces them just days after giving birth,” said Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a news release. “Christy’s opponents are deploying outdated purity tests long used to intimidate and silence bi candidates and it is imperative they are denounced by both of her opponents. These attacks are no different than the homophobic and transphobic tactics used against LGBTQ candidates across the country and it is disheartening to see it play out in such a welcoming city. Holstege’s opponents must live up to the values of inclusion Palm Springs embraces by condemning this vitriolic behavior and ending these biphobic and sexist attacks.”

Equality California and the Desert Stonewall Democrats have joined the Victory Fund in condemning the attacks on Councilwoman Holstege and calling for an end to the smears.

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