Tag Archives: Amendment One

Bigot of the Week Award: May 25, Pastor Charles Worley and his Congregation

25 May

Bigot of the Week

Thank you to my friend Brad Fairchild for inspiring me to write this article.

This week’s bigot is a fine, upstanding example of what christian charity does NOT look like. Pastor Charles Worley of the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, NC, went on a rant in his sermon on May 13. Blasting President Obama for his support of marriage equality (I wonder how he voted on Amendment One…), Worley went one toxic step further.

I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there… Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out… And you know what, in a few years, they’ll die.

Setting aside both compassion and logic, Worley ignores the scientific fact that people are born gay and the practical fact that HETEROSEXUALS keep on popping them out. Not satisfied with calling for a death camp, Worley went on to call the President a “baby killer” and “homosexual lover.” He wrapped up his sermon (which you can see here if you can stomach it) with

God have mercy. It makes me pukin’ sick to think about — I don’t even know whether or not to say this in the pulpit — can you imagine kissing some man?

REALLY? How loving and KKKristian of you. Just how often DO you imagine kissing some man, Pastor? It turns out that Worley has been preaching this way for decades, including a recently surfaced sermon from 1978 in which he advocates lynching for gays and lesbians. Sadly, his congregation peppered his hate speech with “amens.” When interviewed by a local news station, many of them supported his words as “God’s Love.”  While I’m always hesitant to compare folk to Nazis, Pastor Worley is clearly a Nazi with his proposal to set up a death camp for the LGBT community.  I feel very sorry for Worley and his followers–that is some serious bad karma! Is anyone else singing this tune?

What Hath North Carolina Wrought?

9 May

New state motto: Get lost, homos.

The forces of bigotry have claimed another state. Yesterday voters in North Carolina approved Amendment One, using their constitution to remove rights rather than enshrine them. Even though state law already established a crude one-man-one-woman limit on marriage, that wasn’t enough for the forces of darkness. They wanted this much more stringent law worked into the fundamental document of the state. The people agreed by an embarrassing 61 – 39 margin.

Much like the amendment in Georgia (which drove my husband and me out of the South), this goes beyond the simple discrimination of blocking marriage equality. It states

Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

This clearly blocks civil unions or domestic partnerships. While the law does provide a loophole for “contracts with another party” it is very unclear how these two components will balance. Legal experts are fairly certain that it will remove domestic violence and hospital visitation rights from LGBT couples at the very least. Where does a “legal union” end and a contract begin? Certainly not on taxation, so what will this mean for wills and other vital agreements?

Polling showed that when likely voters understood how nasty the law actually was, they became 20% less likely to support it. The right-wing disinformation campaign was powerful enough to muddy that message. Even though the NC NAACP, Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Gov. Bev Perdue, and many others campaigned hard to raise awareness, they were drowned out by things like Billy Graham’s full-page hate-speech ad in 14 newspapers statewide.

Way to go, North Carolina. Is it fun beating up a disadvantaged population? Too many gay couples already face not just societal discrimination but divisive forces within their own families. Without equality under the law, stressful situations like hospitalization, job loss, and death suddenly become battlegrounds of bigotry as well. This magnificent video makes that perfectly clear.

This is why civil rights should NEVER be subject to a popular vote. Such a vote simply allows a majority to re-express their clear opinion about a population against whom they already discriminate. How does that make sense? We need more leadership to reverse this trend, with brave voices like the Iowa justices who risked (and lost) their jobs to embrace equality. We need strong Federal laws, like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to emphasize the equality of LGBT Americans under the law. We need the vile, hypocritically named Defense of Marriage Act to be overturned so that states cannot hide behind its filthy veil. We need the government of the people to stand up for ALL the people. Clearly, in North Carolina, most of the people are happy to turn their backs on their gay neighbors and walk away.  North Carolina, another state NOT SAFE for the LGBT community!

Hero of the Week: May 4, Dr. William Barber II

4 May

Hero of the Week

In a world where oppressed populations are often pitted against one another — and too often allow self-interest to permit such actions — it is wonderful to see someone stand up and loudly say, “Enough!” This week’s HWA goes to Dr. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. Responding to the cynical and loathsome tactics of NOM and its allies to split the African-American and LGBTQ communities, he has issued a strong statement.

Barber is responding to Amendment One, a proposed amendment to the NC constitution that would create a one-man-one-woman definition of marriage. Like a number of other, similar amendments in other states — all of which have passed — it also broadly prohibits anything that remotely resembles marriage equality. This would block civil unions and domestic partnerships and wreak havoc with LGBT couples’ wills and other legal arrangements.

In a strongly-worded Open Letter to All North Carolinians, he makes his case clearly and eloquently.

The NAACP has always opposed any custom, tradition, practice, law or constitutional amendment that denies any right to any person [and] has a long history of opposing any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitutions for the purpose of excluding any group or individuals from guarantees of equal protection under the law. Our opposition is based on our mission statement which calls for the “equality of rights of all persons.” … The North Carolina legislature is not the modern day Council of Nicaea — and we should not want it to be. How should the government address the public policy challenges of abject poverty, unemployment, poor education, economic justice, caring for those without health care, and equal protection under law? These are the questions that the legislature should be addressing. We should not allow my tax dollars, and my beloved state of North Carolina, to put their beliefs into our state’s most important document, to dictate to the consciences of other people here.

Well said, Rev. Barber! The vote on Amendment One is next Tuesday and the polling is very tight. Let us hope that the work of the NC NAACP and other equality-minded groups makes it clear what this amendment does and pushes North Carolina to be the first state to vote down such a bigoted amendment.

Honorable mention this week goes to the eleven state Democratic Party chairs who have joined the chorus pushing the DNC to include full marriage equality in the party platform this fall. Calling for the inclusion are John Burton of California, Joan Wagnon of Kansas, John Walsh of Massachusetts, Ken Martin of Minnesota, Jon Wisniewski of New Jersey, Jay Jacobs of New York, Meredith Wood Smith of Oregon, Boyd Richie of Texas, Jake Perkinson of Vermont, Dwight Pelz of Washington,  and Mike Tate of Wisconsin. Nice to see our home state of Oregon on this list.

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