Be mindful when speaking for community as a whole

Editor:

I am writing this in response to the article “Livingston reacts to same-sex marriage.” As a former Livingston resident, I liked the “This is Livingston” Facebook page as a way to see what’s going on in my hometown. 

It was a way for me to stay connected with the town I grew up in. It was a place to be with like-minded people who felt the same way.

When I found the anti-gay marriage post that caused all the raucous, I wasn’t upset about the moderator’s belief. I was upset by her choice to use a community page to push what her beliefs were. 

Now don’t get me wrong, as the editor of the local newspaper here in Kemmerer, Wyoming, I’m all for free speech and am a strong believer in people believing whatever belief they have. What I’m not for is someone using a community page to push whatever their beliefs are because someone who’s trying to find out more information about the town could see that and make judgements based on that post. 

I don’t think the city wants people to see it as an intolerant and unwelcoming place, and that’s exactly what that post did. 

To represent a page as a community — to speak for an entire community — means that one needs to choose what they post wisely. For this page to represent the whole of Livingston, the moderator needs to understand that if she’s speaking for the entire community, she needs to consider the entire community’s beliefs, whether they differ from hers or not. 

I applaud Rod Kurtz for his efforts to create a more open and wonderful community page, one that represents a city that’s always been tolerant of people as long as they were friendly and genuine. 

Like I said before, everyone has a right to believe the way they feel, just don’t speak for everyone who may not feel the same way. 

Jack Holt
Editor, Kemmerer Gazette
Kemmerer, Wyoming