Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reaction to Wausau PRIDE Parade: Letter to Alderman David Nutting, 3rd District of Wausau, WI

A letter to Alderman David Nutting, 3rd District of Wausau regarding statements he made about a scheduled Wausau PRIDE parade for June 22, 2013:


To Alderman Nutting, 3rd District of Wausau:

My name is Austin Given and I am a resident of Sheboygan County. My wife and I moved to Wisconsin two years ago in pursuit of a good career, beautiful landscape and a warm community. We LOVE Wisconsin.

We have also had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful city of Wausau several times and enjoyed every minute. But frankly, your recent statements in council regarding the PRIDE parade and the participants involved disturbed us. My wife and I are Christians, Americans and now Wisconsinites. Your statements simply did not reflect the core values of any of these groups.

As a Wisconsinite and American, I am baffled that a public official so readily attacks the legal exercise of rights in public. To turn your back on people within your community is indecent. The problem is not the existence of gay people within your community. The problem is your reaction to them. Not only did you judge them with disgust, you encouraged others to treat them cruelly. Does Wausau want to be known for being cruel?

As a Christian I am offended you assume to know God’s judgment. God is loving and kind and has perfect judgment. You, respectfully, do not have the credentials. Your opinion highlights the importance of having a PRIDE parade. Gay citizens are people and are part of our community. I do not see how accepting the existence of gay people is in opposition to a peaceful and loving society. Your position of judgment and disgust makes no positive contribution to the community.

Above all, we are people pursuing our rights to live life without fear of our neighbors’ and representatives’ reprisal. LGBT people and their supporters march not to display “deviant behavior”; they march because there are those that would presume to treat them as less than human. You and your statements are proof of that.

We can do better. We can have a community that celebrates individuality and rejects negativity. We can be positive without tearing others down. And we can grow to understand that a strong community is based in accepting all members as equal.
The best thing you can do to strengthen your community is to have a change of heart.


Respectfully,
Austin Given




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