Sadly, hate speech has come to our small community of China with our new town manager Dennis Heath (“China’s new town manager confronts questions about his beliefs,” Aug. 5). It is an unfortunate sign of the times that hate speech has washed across us from the president, governor, Waterville mayor and now the China town manager — and it seems to be acceptable.

The posted messages in the last several years by Heath, who is now the public face of China, are homophobic, misogynist and bigoted . He has supported accused sexual predators like Roy Moore.

Some may think my language to strong or inaccurate. However, it is hate speech when someone denies the rights and equality of others.

Troubling questions occurred to me from the article: Why did he feel it was OK to post these opinions in Oklahoma, but not in Maine? Why hasn’t he disavowed, apologized and deleted the postings?

Wrapping his opinions up in the guise of religion and free speech does not make them any less disturbing; it’s like the proverbial pig with lipstick who is still a pig. Hate speech is hate speech. As a private individual, he can express his opinions however and wherever he chooses, but as a public employee it is reprehensible and irresponsible. If this were the situation of a school teacher, he would be fired.

I and many others strongly object to our tax dollars paying the salary of someone who felt the need to publicly express these hateful messages. LGBT persons are not evil.

Also, sadly and troubling, from the article it seems clear that the selectpersons who hired him are condoning the hate speech by their support of him. The town office will now be a hostile work environment for the exceptional women who work there.

John Soifer

South China

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