Galesburg supports LGBTQ community in light of investigation into alderman's social media

Samuel Lisec
Galesburg Register-Mail

GALESBURG — Galesburg City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday voicing support for the LGBTQ+ community.

The resolution, which Galesburg Mayor Peter Schwartzman requested for approval, recognizes the “ongoing struggle for dignity and equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQ+) people to forge a more inclusive society.”

The resolution also acknowledges the “many challenges that individuals in the LGBTQ+ community face, including discrimination, marginalization, and threats of violence.”

Council member Sarah Davis said she was disappointed that the council had to bring forward this resolution that affirms “basic human rights and respect.”

“Even though I am struggling with that disappointment, I wholeheartedly support the action that we are taking, this resolution, which emphatically declares that bigotry has no place in Galesburg,” Davis said. 

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Council member Jaclyn Smith-Esters said the council was discussing this resolution because of social media posts made by a Twitter account with the name “Bradley A. Hix” that were deemed homophobic and transphobic by the city’s legal team.

The city recently investigated whether city council member Bradley Hix was the author of the social media posts, but Hix has not confirmed or denied that he was the author. Hix texted the The Register-Mail on Jan. 10 that the allegations were "a campaign ploy by the Mayor to influence the upcoming election.”

“Counselor Hix I have not heard you take ownership or deny these posts and I feel like you should let Galesburg know that it was you or not you, and what your stance is on this matter,” Smith-Esters said during the meeting. 

Hix did not respond to Smith-Esters or make a comment before the resolution’s vote. 

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Holly McDorman, president of Galesburg’s chapter of PFLAG, an organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ people, said after the resolution passed that she felt Hix’s vote of approval was “false.”

“If he really means he supports the queer community, he needs to take ownership for the homophobic and transphobic posts that were on social media, he needs to educate himself on how to better support the community,” McDorman said. “But no, Hix's vote was totally disingenuous."