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Protest at Outagamie County board meeting after alleged transphobic comments

Outagamie Protest
Outagamie Board meeting protest
Posted at 10:24 AM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 11:24:19-04

OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (NBC 26) — During a May 9 Outagamie County board meeting, county supervisor Timothy Hermes allegedly made transphobic comments. Witnesses claim that Hermes expressed concerns about individuals pretending to be transgender to gain access to women’s bathrooms with the intention of causing harm.

On Tuesday, the board met again for the first time since the comments were made. Before the meeting, a group of protesters united outside the county building.

Jay Gibbs, a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization helped coordinate the protest.

"When we see hateful divisive rhetoric, especially from an elected official who is charged with public trust, it becomes a necessity as citizens to make our voices heard,” said Gibbs.

The group took their message inside the meeting, however, their chance to speak was cut short.

“The board disagreed with my choice to speak and asked the sheriffs to remove me,” said Gibbs.

Since James Hermes’ comments weren’t on the agenda the public wasn’t allowed to comment on it during Tuesday's meeting.

“I will not stop. We will not be silenced, sidetracked or sidelined,” said Gibbs.

The protesters' message was still clear.

“We accept nothing less than his removal from this board,” said Gibbs.

The board went into a closed session just after 8:00 p.m.

NBC26 reached out to supervisor Hermes after the meeting but didn't receive a response.