Critics of Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll’s decision to end the city’s contract with Gordon College to run Old Town Hall have been calling Driscoll’s office.
The onslaught of calls to her City Hall office have prompted Driscoll to donate $5 to the North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (Nagly) for each call opposing the decision from southern states, including Georgia and Texas.
Driscoll said in a letter to Nagly’s interim executive director Steve Harrington on Wednesday that the calls began after the story was “picked up by right-leaning blogs and websites,” including Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.
By the end of the day on Wednesday, Driscoll said in a Facebook post her office had received over 50 calls.
“I anticipate we will receive more of them over the course of this week,” Driscoll said.
Last week, Driscoll ended the city’s contract with Gordon College of Wenham to operate Old Town Hall in Derby Square after Gordon President D. Michael Lindsay signed a letter to President Barack Obama, asking for a religious exemption from federal regulations that bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The college had been managing the Old Town Hall, which is home to The Salem Museum on the first floor and the second floor is "The Great Hall," an open space available for public use. Old Town Hall is also home for the “Cry Innocent” performances.News that Lindsay had signed the letter had become public a few days earlier, and last Wednesday Driscoll announced she made the decision because "current policies at Gordon College that require strict adherence to behavioral standards for students, faculty and staff that are discriminatory towards [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] individuals” did not comply with Salem’s LGBT-inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinance.