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Advocates for LGBTQ+ rights: Westfield’s mayor ordered workers to remove Pride posts

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Westfield, Indiana – LGBTQ+ advocates in Westfield claim that after the Pride Month message was published on the city’s social media on June 1, Mayor Andy Cook gave the go-ahead to remove it.

“I heard him say that he was the one that said it needed to come down,” said Alisha Hunter, the president of Westfield Pride and chair of Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network Central Indiana, or GLSEN. “That it was his decision to pull it down.”

Hunter claims that she participated in a discussion with Mayor Cook regarding the position.

“I walked up and asked him why he didn’t think it was appropriate for the city to show LGBTQ+ residents that they are safe here, belong here,” Hunter said. “He got angry and put his finger in my face and was raising his voice, (saying) that I was making comments that are untrue.”

The secretary for both GLSEN of Central Indiana and Westfield Pride is Jennifer Hill. She calls the action discouraging.

“He told some people he was not originally aware of it being posted and that it was the communication team (that) brought to his attention. He told them to take it down. That was really really frustrating and disappointing,” Hill said.

Hunter and Hill ask why other events, such as a prayer breakfast for first responders or posts honoring Black History Month and Earth Day, are featured on the city website.

“I think he should say what he really means and not try to label it as a social issue. I think he’s opposed to the LGBTQ+ community and he should just say that,” Hunter said.

“To me, that says he’s not supportive of the community,” Hill said. “He does not want to show that message that was up there.”

Carmel and Fishers both put up signs in support of Pride Month. As of Monday night, the City of Noblesville had not yet posted. Numerous requests for comment to the office of Mayor Cook have gone unanswered.

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