(EDGE) A Republican politician from Ohio is drawing criticism for an offensive sign he put up outside his mechanic shop that asks transgender people to "pull down your pants," Ohio newspaper The Chronicle reports.
Jay Linn, city council president in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, is apparently known for using the sign outside his Northridge Auto Repair and Service shop to address a number of issues in the 40 years he's been in business.
But his latest signage is sparking controversy as some deem the message transphobic.
"If you don't know who you identify as pull down your pants and look," the sign reads.
Despite the outrage from the local LGBTQ community, Linn, who voted for Donald Trump for president, isn't worried.
Speaking with The Chronicle, Linn cited his gay brother as a defense for the sign. He says his brother has been with the same partner for nearly 40 years and that he recently visited and they got along fine.
"I don't share his views in sexuality, and he doesn't share mine," Linn told the newspaper. "But we're brothers."
It should be noted that sexual identity has nothing to do with gender identity.
The newspaper notes the sign stands just four miles away from where Cemia Dove, a trans woman, was murdered in 2013. Dove was stabbed 40 times by Andre Bridges, who dumped her body in a pond near his apartment, The Chronicle writes. Bridges was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.
Linn said the murder wasn't justified but said he won't apologize for his Christian beliefs. He said people are born the way God created them.
"My beliefs are you don't need to identify with anything except what God put you here as," Linn told the newspaper. "The message is that I identify as what God made me and put me here as and nothing else."
The mechanic added no one came into his shop to complain about the sign. Nevertheless, the sign did spark a protest Friday.
Retired teachers Kari Foreman and Richard Gast stood in front of the sign, holding their own signs with messages like, "Light and Love Will Prevail."
"I can accept political signs, but I cannot accept blatant discrimination and ignorance," Gast told The Chronicle. "This one just pushed me over the edge. The present political climate is what's allowing people like him to do these things and think it's OK."
Foreman said the sign is hateful.
"I had students in the LGBT community and I have dear friends as well," Foreman added. "To say nothing is to tolerate hate, in my opinion."
Akron, Ohio resident Rissa Trent took to Facebook to criticize the sign as well.
"Their phone number is on the sign, but if anyone else would like to file a complaint with the city of North Ridgeville, that would be ok with me," she wrote.
Despite the criticisms, Linn said he's not planning to take the sign down anytime soon.
"I have to tell you this is the best sign I've ever had," Linn told The Chronicle. "There's been 30 or 40 people who have stopped in today, taken business cards and told me what great signs I do. They've stopped in, shook our hands and said keep up the great work. A couple made appointments for cars."