Openly gay Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse is no stranger to letters criticizing his way of doing things.
But a note that arrived at his home address this week was different: it targeted his being gay, and took a “threatening” tone, he said.
“Alex, you are one of the most selfish people I know due to your ‘gay’ lifestyle,” the note began. “You are going down.”
There was no return address, and no name written at the bottom.
Morse, , posted an image of the anonymous note to Facebook Friday. He said he decided to make the message public to bring awareness to what he sees as the challenges ahead, as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to enter the White House.
“It’s a more threatening message than usual, and given the context of the culture that seems to have been elevated since the Trump election, I thought it was important to shine a light on this language and behavior,” said Morse in a telephone interview. “It’s different than writing a note that says, ‘I don’t support gay marriage,’ or ‘I don’t support rights for someone.’ But to demean someone’s humanity based on their sexuality takes it to another level.”
Morse plans to have a discussion with the city’s police chief about the note, to document the incident in the event it becomes a recurring theme, he said.
Since receiving the targeted message, Morse said there has been an outpouring of support from his constituency. People have called and left messages at his office and expressed concern about the hateful scribble, he said. More than 400 people have left comments on Facebook, calling the note “sick” and “disgusting.”
“Like any community, be it in Holyoke, Mass., or anywhere else across the country, there are going to be people who are small-minded and bigoted,” he said.
But, he added, “I know that the good always outweighs the bad.”