‘Hate has no home here’: City of Appleton puts up sign countering sign with homophobic slur – Post-Crescent

Posted: April 19, 2021 at 6:53 am

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Alexander Cullen, who moved to Appleton in February, stops to take a picture of competing signs on Friday in Appleton. In response to a sign with homophobic language on a building along Richmond Street, the city of Appleton has placed a sign nearby that reads "Hate has no home here."(Photo: Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

APPLETON - In response to an electronic sign on a privately owned building that usesa homophobic slur, the city of Appleton put up its own sign Friday with a message letting the community know that all people are welcome in Appleton.

The city's sign reads, "Hate has no home here," and is in the parking lot of the Good Company restaurant. Good Company is next door to 200 N. Richmond St., where an electronic sign displays a picture of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and a series of messages that read"Where did the f-----s... Put My Head?" ... "I'm Joe McCarthey (sic)" ... "I was right."

The city received multiple complaints about the McCarthy sign, but there's nothing the city could do about it, Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford said. The sign itself doesn't violate any city codes and the speech is protected under the First Amendment.

"What we've been saying to members of our community is (the language used on the sign)has no home in this community," Woodford said. "We want Appleton to be a place where all people feel welcomed, and that the First Amendment applies to all of us and belongs to all of us."

RELATED:Appleton sign displays homophobic slur, images of senator Joseph McCarthy

"We put the sign out as areminder of our values as a community, which is that we believe hate has no home here," Woodford said. "And we believe in the dignity and respect of all people."

The city owns the sign it's an extra the Appleton Police Department uses during events, Sgt. Meghan Cash said and Good Company allowed the city to put the sign in the restaurant's parking lot, Woodford said.

Public messages and statements that make any community member feel threatened or disrespected is not acceptable and we are proud of our citys community statement," Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas said in a statement. "First Amendment rights apply to all of us, and with that right we believe there is also a responsibility take ownership of your words. We are proud of ours.

In response to a sign with homophobic language on a building along Richmond Street, the city of Appleton has placed a sign nearby that reads Hate has no home here, seen here on Friday in Appleton.(Photo: Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Members of the community have planned a protest of the McCarthy sign at 2 p.m. Saturday outside of 200 N. Richmond St., according to a Facebook event posting.

Woodford said it was important for the city to acknowledge when events or language in the community hurt people, and they feel the city's sign is a way to show that.

"I would argue a vast majority of people in this community believe people should be treated with dignity and respect," Woodford said. "So that's why we did this."

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Contact Natalie Brophy at (715) 216-5452 or nbrophy@gannett.com. Followher on Twitter @brophy_natalie.

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'Hate has no home here': City of Appleton puts up sign countering sign with homophobic slur - Post-Crescent

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