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LGBTQ+ advocates: Westfield mayor told staff to delete Pride posts

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — LGBTQ+ advocates in Westfield say Mayor Andy Cook instructed city staff to take down the Pride Month post from city social media after it was posted on June 1.

“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 says she was present for a conversation with Mayor Cook about the post.

“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.”

Jennifer Hill is the secretary of both Westfield Pride and GLSEN of Central Indiana. She calls the move disappointing.

“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 question why other things are posted on the city page such as a prayer breakfast for first responders or posts celebrating Black History Month and Earth Day.

“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.”

The cities of Carmel and Fishers posted in support of Pride Month. The City of Noblesville has not posted as of Monday night. Mayor Cook’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment.