Connecticut Councilman Scott Chamberlain is resigning in a scandal regarding his penchant for dressing up like a mascot-style cartoon animal during his off-hours as part of a sub-culture known as “Furries”.
A constituent posted a photo of the government leader posing with a “furry” among other screenshots of Chamberlain’s profile from a private website catering to “furries,” many of whom participate in or write about unusual sexual practices, and chaos ensued.
In the wake of allegations that he “tolerates” rape, which was one of his “things” listed on his social media profile, the outgoing first-term Democrat insists that his animal costume fetish has “nothing to do with sex.”
Nevertheless, the man’s “likes” were telling — so much so that New Milford’s mayor stepped in.
“In response to information about ‘likes’ on a personal page by Councilman Chamberlain, I have called for his immediate resignation from the Town Council and any other appointed Boards and Commissions,” Mayor David Gronbach said in an email to the New York Post. “As public servants, we are held to a higher standard and Mr. Chamberlain’s apparent posts do not meet that standard.”
In an interview at midday Thursday, Chamberlain explained his involvement in the “furry” community as a harmless hobby. “It’s nothing to do with sex,” he said, calling it “an interest in cartoon animals.”
But Mayor Gronbach said that he thinks elected officials should be held to a “higher standard” and called for Chamberlain’s immediate resignation.
Amid allegations that he is a “pervert,” Chamberlain now plans to resign all his town and party positions by Monday morning.
“Literature is one thing, but this kind of stuff takes on a whole different level,” said Town Democratic Chairman Peter Mullen, apparently stunned by what he read on the Facebook post. Mullen said that Chamberlain had told him previously that he had written what he called “science fiction adult literature,” but he did not know what that really meant.
In an interview after the so-called cat was let out of the bag, Chamberlain said the private site, sofurry.com, requires users to sort topics into four categories — “loves,” “likes,” “tolerates” and “hates” — to manage the content sent to them.
“It’s basically a search feature,” explained the lawmaker who sometimes has an alter-go named “Gray Muzzle”; a foxlike character. Chamberlain noted that his participation in furry fandom “is mostly about appreciating animal characters with human behaviors and features, such as Tony the Tiger and Mickey Mouse.”
But many of those commenting on the Facebook post — which has since been removed — said that even suggesting “rape” is tolerable was crossing the line.
“Anyone is free to pursue any hobby of choice,” one commenter wrote, “however that doesn’t mean they can represent me as an elected official and endorse the things that are seemingly endorsed on that page.”
Chamberlain also writes what he calls a “soap opera”, which is read by hundreds of users that includes furries in some sexual situations. He said these writings are posted to a site open only to adults, and that he writes under a pen name to keep his public and private lives separate.
Chamberlain said someone must have created an account on that site with the sole purpose of getting private information on him. “I’m just saddened by this whole thing,” he told the Danbury News Times. ”I’ve always tried to be positive in my public life and work hard and donate my time for the people of New Milford.“
During a Thursday night Democrats party event, a small group of protesters gathered outside.
Among them was Rick Agee, the resident who had made the original Facebook post. He carried a sign saying, “No perverts running our town!”
”I have kids and grandkids in this town, and I don’t want him representing us,” Agee said.
Party officials have removed a green sign saying, “Scott Chamberlain — New Milford Town Council” from the headquarters’ front window and peeled a Chamberlain bumper sticker from the glass door.
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