A Democratic councilman in a Connecticut town was forced to resign from his position after he was outed as a “furry”—a subculture whose members wear full-body anthropomorphic animal suits. The town’s mayor said the councilman’s resignation was ordered because he indicated that he “tolerated” rape in his furry profile.
New Milford councilman and Democrat Scott Chamberlain resigned after first defending his extracurricular hobby, which involves role-playing or even living as an animal. Many furries adopt “fursonas” and believe themselves to have the souls of typically wild animals like wolves, bears, and foxes. The lifestyle is often sexual in nature.
Screenshots of his alter-ego from a furry Internet website called sofurry.com circulated to his colleagues on the town council, which prompted Mayor David Gronbach to demand his resignation, stating that he expected town officials to be held to a “higher standard,” per the Washington Examiner.
“It’s nothing to do with sex; it’s an interest in cartoon animals,” said Chamberlain in an interview with the Danbury New Times on Thursday in defense of the activity.
Following accusations that Gronbach was biased against furries, the mayor said that his dismissal of Chamberlain had nothing to do with the subculture itself, but rather what he had posted on the forum. Chamberlain had allegedly indicated that he “tolerates” rape.
“The resignation was prompted not from being a member of any community, but the expressions of ‘likes’ and ‘tolerates’ that were disclosed,” said Gronbach, who is also a Democrat.
According to the New Times, the town’s Democratic chairman Peter Mullen said that Chamberlain told him that he wrote “science fiction adult literature,” but that his Facebook posts indicated interest in activities that shocked him.
Sofurry.com requires its users to sort topics into four categories, including “loves,” “likes,” “tolerates,” and “hates,”—allowing users to search for each other based on their interests. Posting under the name “Gray Muzzle,” Chamberlain allegedly indicated that he tolerated rape.
The publication discovered that the town official also wrote an erotic “soap opera” that includes furries in sexual situations.
“I’m just saddened by this whole thing,” he said. “I’ve always tried to be positive in my public life and work hard and donate my time for the people of New Milford.”