Demand The Resignations of Lycoming County Commissioners Scott Metzger and Tony Mussare
#403Understanding how other people are different not only helps children understand about the world around them, but how they fit into that world. We should celebrate diversities. Anything less is denying human experience. Just because you don't live that experience, doesn't mean you can't educate yourself and your children. Is what Jesus would do.
Jennifer Monaghan (Lewisburg, 2021-06-11)
John Walker (Williamsport , 2021-06-11)
#405I am signing this petition, because I am disgusted that a county commissioner has the audacity to make public comments to censor a display at a public library in his county. The post was removed, but I have yet to see a public apology for his disgusting remarks. He needs to go. I am so tired of elected officials thinking that they can say whatever they want. It’s time there are consequences for these audacious comments.
Tara Witmer (Montoursville , 2021-06-11)
#409JVB Library is a landmark in our city and welcomes and should celebrate ALL literature. Spreading knowledge, love, and diversity is what this library stands for...
Michelle Szuhaj (Williamsport, 2021-06-11)
#412Representation matters for every child. Children want themselves and their families to feel included and “seen.” Hiding books on a shelf implies LGBTQ+ people are second-class citizens who need hidden.
Lindsey Gallagher (Williamsport, 2021-06-11)
#413Stop legislating from your skewed pulpit.
Yolie Canales (Wellsboro, 2021-06-11)
#415Nothing like being fragile enough that a children's book gets your panties in a twist. Grow up, Scott Metzger and Tony Mussare. Books help children hear diverse voices. Hearing diverse voices make our kids better humans. Book banning is puritanical. We as a society are better than that.
Christine Bainbridge (Allentown, 2021-06-11)
#422I’m signing because there is no place and no space and no excuse for homophobia anymore. I was a student at Lycoming College and one of my best friends worked at the library so this does hit close to my heart. It’s a blatant soapbox for performative “caretaking.” Commissioner Metzger has argued that he wants “kids to be kids,” but what if those kids are like the characters in the books on display? The commissioners are infringing on the library’s rights and they have no business censoring—their beliefs do not speak to the whole of the community.
Brittany Wynn (Sunbury, 2021-06-11)
#424It is time that these commissioners stop bringing hateful opinions to their political venue.
Erin Farrell (Williamsport, 2021-06-11)
#427Too many youth have taken their lives for not being accepted for who they are and here you both go wanting to keep pushing that agenda. If that weren't enough you try to BULLY the library to fit you idea of "normal"
Victoria Orr (DuBois, 2021-06-12)
#428I’m signing because homophobia within our government should not be tolerated by the people.
Quentin Hill (Williamsport, 2021-06-12)
#429Respect for all and, more importantly, appreciation for diversity are not examples of indoctrination. They're simply good manners. Our youth deserve to live in a world where people are celebrated not silenced.
Tammi Dell (Hampstead, 2021-06-12)
#430Kids are kids and need to know it's okay to be who you are. I wish these books had been around when I was a kid
Kristen Boyer (Fairview, PA, 2021-06-12)
#437I was outraged hearing about this proposed measure to take down a Pride display from the James V. Brown Library. As an LGBTQI Ally I am upset an angered that someone entrusted to represent the community would act in such an ignorant and intolerant manner. Both of these commissioners need some basic training in LGBTQI and diversity awareness. This area continues to disappointment me in terms of diversity, COVID awareness, and just plain intelligence.
Amy Leddy (State College, PA, 2021-06-12)
#440As an alumnus of Lycoming college and having spent time in Williamsport I find it disheartening that such people represent what I thought to be an accepting area
Matt Wright (Ridley park, 2021-06-12)
#442Libraries are for everyone. You cannot threaten to pull funding because Joh don’t like a book display. Let the parents decide what books they want to borrow and give the library the freedom to display books.
Megan Palmer (seneca, 2021-06-12)
#448We need to stop this homophobic politician.
Barbara Most (Trout Run, 2021-06-12)
#452Social Opinion is not ground or means that entitle elected officials to employ in leveraging policy in limiting the public’s right to know. It is in fact a violation of community trust. Our parents are wholly capable of guiding their children’s reading material. What part of our education will be the next target of Mr. Mussare and Metzger? They are out of line.
Holly Shull (Williamsport , 2021-06-12)
#453learning about acceptance, inclusivity, and understanding is NEVER “harmful”
Alysha Ardell (Williamsport, PA, 2021-06-12)
#458I am tired of them not representing all constituents, just a few that agree with their opinions. I am also tired of the wasteful spending on frivolous lawsuits to try and circumvent the balance of power.
Kevin Murray (Muncy, 2021-06-13)
#466The statement by Metzger horrifically displays his complete lack of understanding of basic concepts and denial of reality. Leaders of a country should be at the very least rooted in reality and display at least elementary understanding of the world around them. At the very least, not display such hate.
The statements are simply factually incoherent and public policy decisions should not be made by someone so cognitively inept.
Ted Taylor (South Williamsport, 2021-06-13)
#468I’m signing because as a woman with a girlfriend I believe this behavior by two grown men is absurd. I went through Montoursville, was successful in school and sports, and just graduated with a degree in Neuroscience from UM. I like women and I’m able to walk around in my hometown with people knowing that and most accepting it, but not all individuals have that privilege. Seeing as many mammals practice homosexual behavior and that sexuality is obviously not a choice, the behavior here takes away items that provide examples and representation for young kids. Putting an identity in a book will not coerce children to become a certain way-all the heterosexual love stories I read when I was younger did not make me straight. If a kid can read a book and experience different identities in writing then yay we should celebrate! That’s how the world works outside of Montoursville. Lycoming county is still the one place I visit where I know homophobia and racism still run through the place-isn’t this inexcusable in 2021? Isn’t it time to make the area a bit more tolerant?
Baby steps I hope.
I think about in hs when teachers used to tell students, “that isn’t how the real world works!”, now when I tell my friends from all over the country/world about the sentiments and things I’ve heard were said or done in our hometown, I think to myself “this isn’t how the real world works.” It is time to hold our elected officials to a higher standard, accept that sexuality is not a choice, and help facilitate tolerancess. I’m disgusted by the decision these two made, but don’t doubt that the hate in their own minds and the way they conduct their lives will only lead them down a miserable road. White and straight May be the norm to society, but it’s time to educate children that it’s not the ONLY identity that should be considered normal.
Gillian Mitchell (Montoursville , 2021-06-13)
#469I’m signing because I’m so unbelievably tired of being embarrassed to tell people where I’m from. When you leave this area and actually experience different cultures, people, ideas, etc... THAT’S when you realize we (LGBTQ+ kids of Lycoming County) were robbed of a fair childhood.
I grew up surrounded by bigotry, hatefulness, and false christianity. I was raised Catholic just to end up hating religion. I know now that I am much closer to God than these two men.
I used to be so full of hate, judgement, and self-pity. Everything about my life felt wrong. Now, I’m full of love, acceptance, tolerance, and self-love. Everything feels right because I have found myself. I have a beautiful girlfriend and we just moved into our first apartment together.
I’m signing this petition because it shouldn’t have taken me 20+ years of life to get here. I wish those books were on display at Ashkar Elementary’s library when I was a kid.
Kylie Sherlinski (Hughesville, 2021-06-13)
#470allowing people in power who do not accept their constituents is deplorable and unacceptable. always was and always will be.
Kate Little (Williamsport, 2021-06-13)
#474As a transgender citizen of Lycoming County, I find this reaction to a harmless display of inclusivity insulting and embarrassing.
Madison Leonard (Hughesville, 2021-06-13)
#476It is appalling that these so-called leaders of the community would threaten to use their elected office as a means to penalize the Library for celebrating PRIDE; and that they instead seek to give oxygen to the myth that being part of the LGBTQIA+ community is somehow a bad thing. To the LGBTQIA+ community of Williamsport - young, old and every age in between - don’t let close-minded, ignorant, homophobic bigots keep you in the shadows. And to the officials trying to keep young people from learning that it’s ok to love boys or girls or both, telling them that gender expression is only acceptable if it matches narrow-minded preconceived ideas - shame on you. Educate yourselves. Maybe read a few of the books that you’d like hidden away. Grow up already and quit torturing children. Stop trying to make them feel as though they are wrong for just being who they are. That doesn’t serve your community. It doesn’t make you a good leader or a good person. Allowing children to see themselves and their friends represented in a joyful and positive way is a beautiful thing. I stand with the Library and the LGBTQIA+ community and all of their allies.
Elise Hessert Braden (South Orange, NJ, 2021-06-14)
#480As elected officials, it is not their duty to threaten to withhold public funds to a public institution because of personal bias or opinion. The library's right to educate and inform the public should not be infringed upon.
Steve and Julie Hulslander (Williamsport, 2021-06-14)
#482As both a former librarian in two counties, a member of the Queer community, and an elected representative myself, I have many emotions regarding the request Mussare and Merzger submitted to the James V. Brown Library, the most prominent being disgust.
As a child, a display like this likely would have spared me so much shame throughout my childhood, would have helped me understand that my ''otherness'' wasn't a bad thing, would likely have helped me understand that my feelings were valid, weren't wrong. I would have understood my cousin a lot sooner, would have been able to accept him and his boyfriend (now husband) decades ago. I would have understood why my uncle chooses to wear dresses, why another cousin seemed to have that emotional connection with girls as much as she did with boys. And while I doubt asexuality or aromanticism are featured here (I can't make out the book titles in the images), I would have understood that maybe I wasn't broken, that I didn't have to pretend I fit under the ''normal'' umbrella, that I didn't have to force myself into heteronormative relationships that made me uncomfortable. Maybe having access to a display like this could have helped me connect with others, could have helped me realize that there isn't just one ''correct way'' to love someone, that my feelings weren't wrong. Maybe it could have helped prevent me picking up that knife so many times, would have spared me a few scars.
But even trying to see this from an outside perspective: We're fortunate enough to live in a beautiful, diverse world, where many feel safe enough to be themselves, where the LGBTQIA+ community is becoming more and more accepted (finally) with each passing day. Hiding these resources from children, trying to hide these resources, will not hide the fact that we exist. Children ask questions; in fact curiosity is the very foundation of childhood. Even if the Commissioners were to succeed, were to hide these resources from kids-
They'll still find it. They'll still see us out in the world: living, loving, existing, thriving. And they will ask questions. And they will find their answers, one way or another.
Is it not better to allow them easy access to these resources, allow them the freedom to learn and grow and know and accept that we are all blessedly unique individuals, that we are all different?
Or would you truly prefer the alternative- a world where these children ask questions, risk isolating themselves or their peers, divide the very community you gentlemen were elected to represent?
My final concern- and perhaps among the more alarming in my personal opinion- is simply that of censorship. Having worked/volunteered in libraries, having helped set up displays very much like this before, I assure you that you have no authority to control what is shared with the public. The government has no say in what resources are available within a library, nor do they have the authority to decide what among those resources is featured, when they are featured, or why they are featured. Demanding that any of the libraries that you allocate (not give!) taxpayer money to changes their operations in this way is severely overstepping your boundaries of authority, and that alone is why I am signing this petition. If we allow something even as-relatively- small as this (Trust me; I know this actually a very big deal.), I dread to consider what may be pressed at a later date.
Libraries are, by design, meant to be accessible for everyone, give everyone the chance to learn about themselves, others, the world at large. It was even through a library- The Thomas Beaver Free Library in Danville- that I first learnt of PFLAG, because of a poster pinned to the community bulletin board right beside the main circulation desk.
A community bulletin board.
Because that is what a library is; that is what libraries are.
A library is built to serve its community, all of its community. It gives us the chance to learn about ourselves, to learn about others, to have adventures, to develop new skills, to check in with our neighbors, to share the knowledge and experiences we have gained over the years with (sometimes) complete strangers. For many, libraries are sanctuaries, a refuge against those who won't offer kids the haven they so desperately need, offer them the answers they seek and the acceptance they crave without judgement.
Asking to conceal these resources, as few as they may be, or to relocate them, is cowardly- and pointless. Children will find their answers, and they will find their community; it is disappointing to know they will never find it with you.
I really do hope that the James V. Brown keeps their display, for the sake of children who already are wondering if they're broken, for the sake of those children who have seen a couple in the grocery store, for the sake of those children who come from LGBTQIA+ families, for the sake of those children who simply have questions, who are curious, who want to know more about the world they live in.
Kids deserve the chance to ask questions. They deserve the chance to find the answers to those questions. And most importantly? They deserve to know that there's at least one place where they're safe to ask them.
Rebecca Hall (Bloomsburg, 2021-06-14)
#487People with these views should not be ALLOCATING tax payers dollars.
Kaden Metzger (Williamsport, 2021-06-15)
#488Hate has no place in Williamsport. Equality and education are key. These commissioners clearly do not represent the people and need to go!
Alyssa Johnson (Williamsport, 2021-06-15)
#489When we diminish the voices of others, we all lose. For every voice that speaks out in hate, two more will rise to defend love and inclusion.
Ryan Czekaj (Hughesville, 2021-06-15)
#490Bigotry has no place in PA. The commissioners need to do their job and not waste tax dollars on their personal and hateful views.
Alexis Martin (Franklin, 2021-06-15)
#494These commissioners should not have the ability to bully community facilities such as this library to conform to his personal beliefs. Show the library your support by donating: https://jvbrown.edu/support-the-library/
Diane Brewer (Moscow, 2021-06-15)
#495I’m signing because all kids need to know they matter including LGBT kids.
Liz Krewson-Ross (Scranton, 2021-06-15)
#496“Any book worth banning is a book worth reading.” - Issac Asimov
The bigoted comments from these commissioners are heinous. These cishet men are uneducated fools with no compassion or understanding of the human condition. They should be immediately removed from their positions and crawl back beneath the rocks where they came from.
Alicia Kulick (Doylestown, 2021-06-15)
#497It’s not up to you to make children feel more confused as to why they are gender fluid, rather give them an education that it is okay to be yourself.
Susan Stone (Scranron, 2021-06-15)
#500Blatant misuse of power based on bigoted opinions
Matthew boyer (Erie, 2021-06-16)
#502Tony needs to go. Wrote him a letter refused to respond after lycoming county lost my file , my judgement and when i contact district attorney linhardt , detective willy weber cant find my file and buries my criminal complaint
Steven Wicks (Williamsport PA, 2021-06-16)
#504I strongly believe the two county commissioners have chosen to overstep why they were elected. Expressing personal opinion and beliefs is NOT why they were elected. Censorship attempts by any elected official should result in the removal from office! And if they cannot be removed, then they should never be elected again.
Michael Fornwalt (Muncy, 2021-06-17)
#505Children already have gender identity whether they understand what that means or not. The job of adults is to teach acceptance and make children feel included. Demanding that books that help some children feel less ostracized for who they are be hidden is an incredibly homophobic and uneducated response. Sexual identity is not a choice. Willful ignorance is.
Julie Izzo (Abbottstown, 2021-06-17)
#506Part of being a kid is getting to have fun, explore, and express yourself. Kids of all identities deserve to be respected and supported, including LGBTQIA+ kids. As a non-binary person, I would have felt more validated and supported if our libraries had these kind of display growing up. Instead, I had a lot of anxiety and confusion about who I was and how to express myself, not because of these type of books, but because I didn’t have these resources.
Alaina McNeal (Blossburg, 2021-06-17)
#507Intolerance has no place in my home county.
Matthew Zarzyczny (Williamsport, 2021-06-17)
#508We deserve better than to have bigots representing us.
Rachel Dickerman (Williamsport, 2021-06-18)
#511These men are biased homophobic and thus do not properly represent all the citizens of Lycoming County.
Cynthia Staiman Vosk (Williamsport, 2021-06-18)
#515These two men should be ashamed of themselves. Have they ever experienced what it’s like or (I know this is hard) imagined what it’s like to be part of that community? No, of course not. What if there’s a child who sees this display and they’re parents are LGBTQ+ And it gets taken down, what does that show this child? This is censorship. These men don’t deserve their seats if they aren’t going to represent ALL their citizens.
Dominic Carmeci (Williamsport, 2021-06-22)