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An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

Over 1,000 gather in North Carolina to protest anti-gay preacher’s comments

Sunday, May 27, 2012

NEWTON, N.C. — Over 1,000 people gathered in this small town about an hour outside Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday to protest what they called messages of hate by Maiden, N.C. Pastor Charles Worley, whose comments at Providence Road Baptist Church during a sermon on May 13 made headlines last week.

Worley said he had “figured a way out – a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers.”

“Build a great big, large fence — 50 or a 100 miles long — and put all the lesbians in there,” Worley told his congregants.

“Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals — and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ‘em. And you know in a few years, they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.”

Comments from a 1978 sermon by Worley also raised eyebrows. Posted by the church, the old sermon included comments from Worley that “Forty years ago they would’ve hung [homosexuals], bless God, from a white oak tree!”

Protesters and anti-LGBT counter protesters engaged in heated debate at Sunday’s event.
Additional photos are here. Video from Q Notes is here.

Organizers had told media they were expecting 2,000-5,000 protesters, which prompted them to move from their original protest location at Worley’s church to the Catawba County Government and Justice Center. Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid told qnotes that he estimated attendance at anywhere from 1,400-1,600. He said every spot in the government center parking lot had at one time been filled. The lot holds 675 cars, Reid said, noting that many vehicles had come with at least two passengers.

At a morning press conference, protest organizer Laura Tipton said she hoped to send a message of love. She also addressed reports of an attempted arson at Providence Road Baptist Church, where someone attempted to set fire to the building’s power box.

“As a group, we condemn that act,” Tipton said. “We’re promoting peace, love and acceptance. We publicly condemn any violence directed toward Providence Road Baptist Church or it’s members.”

Mike Mannarino, president of the local Catawba Valley Pride, said he was “outraged” at Worley’s comments.

“Don’t fence me in,” he said. “I demand a public apology.”

Those gathered to protest were vocal, and the scene grew quite raucous at times as a few dozen counter-protesters mingled with the crowd. Protesters chanted slogans like “Love, not hate,” and sang in masse “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” to drown out the intermittent preaching and jests.

Earlier in the day, one counter protester was caught off guard when a peacekeeper working with protest organizers to keep participants separated from counter protesters saw someone he recognized. The peacekeeper told qnotes that one of the counter protesters, a man in his mid-20s or early-30s, once hit on him at a local adult bookstore. The counter protester denied the accusation while holding a sign that condemned gays. The counter protester left the protest early.

Despite the size of the protest and the presence of counter protesters, law enforcement officials reported that participants on both sides of the issue remained peaceful though some had to be calmed down after a few heated arguments and debates. Catawba Sheriff Reid said there had been no arrests or other disturbances save one warning citation issued to an anti-gay street preacher for a violation of a city noise ordinance.

A total of 50 law enforcement personnel were on hand Sunday, including officers from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Department, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and from the police departments in Newton and Lincolnton.

Reid also noted there were no health or medical emergencies. Protest organizers have been distributing free bottles of water to participants.

As the protest drew to a close, Tipton said she believed they had gotten their message across “loud and clear.”

“I hope that the LGBT community and anybody that is different and considers themselves an outsider knows that there is support and love for them,” she said. “I hope they know that in a small community, if this many people will come out to support them, they have love and acceptance everywhere.”

© QNotes.
An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

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51 more reader comments:

  1. Sounds like there is a pastor who needs to be electrocuted

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:27pm
  2. Electrocution….of gays……oh hes a special kind of asshole.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:27pm
  3. We don’t need to give this man any kind of attention!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:28pm
  4. Don’t promote hate w/ hate… I agree with Olivia, pay no attention to scumbags like this.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:32pm
  5. As a gay man, I find his position quite shocking, but then I remember that he is a fuktard and feel pitty for his ignorance

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:32pm
  6. wtf then that is no pastor and god will get him for mikin a crack like that

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:34pm
  7. How awful. I wonder what he would advocate if he, his realitive,(s) or kid(s) was gay.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:36pm
  8. I wish I could be there.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:41pm
  9. hi to every one

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:45pm
  10. me too iwish to be there

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:46pm
  11. with you in spirit friends :)

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:49pm
  12. I as well!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:50pm
  13. That pastor sounds like a Nazi.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:50pm
  14. “…although the Charlotte News-Observer said the crowd was only around 200.” I think that is a typo. That newspaper (though still wrong) is reporting 1200 not 200.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:51pm
  15. people should just leave gays and lesbians alone they are people too

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:57pm
  16. Hes not only a hateful, disgusting homophobe & a poor excuse for a human being. He is ALSO stupid; they would not “die out in a few years because they can’t reproduce.” 1st of all, it if they had food, water, etc it would take more than a few years for them to die. 2nd, if they had to, I’m sure at least some of them would reproduce. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t manage to sexually reproduce (even if it meant having to sleep with the opposite sex) if the alternative was the extinction of the species.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:59pm
  17. yes you are right we humans and we hve our freedom to live in this life

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:59pm
  18. I wish I had known about it I would’ve gone

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:00pm
  19. Nice

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:02pm
  20. actually, wouldnt even have to be sexually intimate… theres always artificial insemination,,,plus, the gay people would have straight kids as well, then what would they do???!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:05pm
  21. what an absurd idea! like that would really happen!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:06pm
  22. What an ignorant bigot.,

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:07pm
  23. Ohmygoodness how can someone even think up of something so dumb.. what a piece of shit <3

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:10pm
  24. It’s sad because he is suppose to be a preacher. If he is a preacher I am a saint, and even though I am a Christian, I am no saint.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:15pm
  25. SEE , PEOPLE ?? There are plenty of fair-minded and intelligent folks in North Carolina ! <3 <3

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:20pm
  26. If, and it’s a BIG IF, this man makes it to Heaven, boy is he going to be surprised when God sits him at a table full of gay people for the remainder of eternity.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:24pm
  27. Wow i can see not agreeing with the way someone is, or the way someone lives…but this is just going too far…borderling upon crazy

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:25pm
  28. As long as people react to the hateful ignorance of others, there will always be issues such as these. Hate only begets hate.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:26pm
  29. hey…wtf….my partner and i are together now for over fifteen years…he is a native north carolinian…just be sure we all remember that we are everywhere…and as my mom who is now past…use to say…”me thinks he speaks too loudly”….speaking so loudly about this makes me wonder if he is not what he seems to be…i dunno…whatever. ;/

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:32pm
  30. Dying because you can’t reproduce…Hmmm…that’s a new one!!! Obvioulsly some people have too much time on their hands to sit and think these things up!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:37pm
  31. Continued to be Surprised by Ignorant people. I Hope he finds Happiness Real Soon!!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:56pm
  32. We live Ina world where in many countries being LGBT is a life sentence and about seven countries where it is a death sentence. Alll of this is fueled by religious persecution . There is a lot of work to do this mentality iOS prevalent and quite dangerous.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:56pm
  33. Thats sad that he thought that gay ppl r born everyday…. Were nt going any where

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 2:03pm
  34. I wish I was there, Newton, do me proud!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 2:28pm
  35. Unreal!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 2:30pm
  36. He didn’t say they should be electrocuted, he said they should be put behind an electric fence until they die out. That’s bad enough, there is no need for hyperbole in the headline with ideas that loony and nazi-esque being actually spoken.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 4:31pm
  37. just for the record… My parents and my partners parents where straight heterosexual … and guess what the rest of the straight people would need to stop having us gays babys… That fence couldnt hold us ..!!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 4:51pm
  38. oh and that would mean modern day birth control… which by the way he would be against too…!!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 4:53pm
  39. What he actually said was bad enough. We don’t gain any cred by claiming he said worse.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:03pm
  40. I find myself wondering if he knows anyone who is gay and a faithful Christian. I wonder if anyone has ever witnessed to him? Mostly, he and his church members just seem incredibly ignorant.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:07pm
  41. I’m happy to see the protests over that bigoted, hateful person!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:20pm
  42. Agreed, Gail. What I was wondering is why LGBTQ Nation feels it needs to exaggerate what this preacher said. Originally, LGBTQ Nation reported that the preacher wants us rounded up and held in pens surrounded by electified fences until we die out (presumably because he believes we cannot reproduce.) Then LGBTQ Nation reports the preacher want us electrocuted. That’s not what he said and purposely distorting what others say, even hateful people like this particular preacher, does not enhance our credibility at all. Quite the opposite.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:22pm
  43. Amazing how Christianity preaches love for all then bigots say shit like this

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:55pm
  44. this so-called n.c.pastor needs help.

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 7:03pm
  45. No National democratic convention in such a homophobic state!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 7:20pm
  46. No convention in NC! Homophobes ! !

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 7:20pm
  47. gays have right to a life!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 8:21pm
  48. Damn False Pastor!

    Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 11:17pm
  49. This man needs to be removed from his Pulpit

    Posted on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 3:24am
  50. This is great, Keep protesting!

    Posted on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 5:14am
  51. These people are here to stay and with our help, will be allowed legally to exist in America, the land of the Free.

    Posted on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:04am