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Thank you, Mayor Byrnes

To the editor:

This is a response to a recent letter arguing against our mayor’s actions last weekend. I would like to thank Mr. Byrnes for supporting and attending LGBTQ+ events in our city.

I appreciate his desire to encourage inclusivity in our community and his courage to act upon his convictions.

I grew up learning Biblical stories about a guy who long ago ran into lots of trouble with religious authorities when he befriended people like lepers, tax-collectors, and prostitutes as he angered his day’s establishment who constantly quoted scripture as justification for cruelty. This guy stood up to power and, according to scripture, advocated defending “the least of these.”

He also said that “The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”

When I read the letter, a song (and story) I learned as a child immediately came to mind — “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he….” My favorite line of that Bible School song has always been the last, because it calls us to be kind to people who are on the fringes of any society: “for I’m going to your house today.”

In today’s language, that lyric might read “for I’m supporting an LGBTQ+ event” as Mr. Byrnes did last week.

I was taught these lessons as a child, and I think that Mr. Byrnes’ actions show that he’s learned them as well.

In response to this recent letter, I have made another donation to The Trevor Project because I believe in the acceptance of all people, and I recognize that those who are too often pushed to the fringe deserve our support.

Dan Smith

Marshall

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