Love is love

I am writing to express my support for the James V. Brown Library’s decision to display Pride books in the children’s library space. I am appalled that our local government would advocate not only for censorship of books but also against inclusiveness in the community. I am horrified that two of our Commissioners would dangle a veiled threat of withholding public funds if the library doesn’t comply.

Can Mr. Metzger or Mr. Mussare share with us when they first decided to be straight? Can they share at what age they were asked if they had a “girlfriend” at school? I am genuinely curious about their path to heterosexuality for themselves? Does that sound strange to you? It likely does due to heteronormativity — a privilege which centers heterosexual norms and behaviors as a standard in society.

Can Mr. Metzger or Mr. Mussare identify a time when they were in the minority? Have they ever in their whole lives experienced being marginalized? If they have, the experience certainly has not taught them anything about representation, inclusion, or empathy.

Mr. Metzger and Mr. Mussare insist that their objection to the library’s display is unrelated to hate or censorship. Please help me understand what it is about then? Your advocacy to shove representation of the LGBTQI community to the dark corners of the library amounts exactly those things. Mr. Metzger’s professions of his so-called “Christian” faith are laughable. If you believe in the Bible, how can you actively participate in shunning another human being?

I wonder how the Commissioners believe that a public stance against members of the LGBTQI community, as well as against compassion and empathy, will play with employers deciding whether to bring their business to our region? How will it impact the hospital’s ability to recruit and retain much needed specialty physicians? Further, the brain-drain in our community is real. My son recently graduated magna cum laude in biology and could not leave this area fast enough to use his considerable experience researching environmental impact of flooding on local waterways and recreation. In addition to hateful attitudes creating a dangerous living space for the LGBTQI community, attitudes like Mr. Mussare’s and Mr. Metzger’s directly impact people’s desire to live and work in our community.

I will note that Mr. Metzger recently posted about this, the business of county government, on his Facebook page. He often uses that page as a means of communicating the business of county government. After receiving a backlash, he made the post private. It also seems that he blocked members of the public from messaging him about the post. I would like to remind Mr. Metzger of a Fourth Circuit ruling in which, if an elected official is using his Facebook page as a tool of governance and opens the post to public comments, the post constitutes a public forum, and he may not block critics or critical comments. I do not know what is more embarrassing: that Mr. Metzger harbors such ill will to other human beings or that he lacks the courage to receive feedback from his constituents.



Submitted via Virtual Newsroom


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