A North Carolina woman and gay rights supporter has been charged with assault after she kissed an anti-gay, bible thumping preacher at an LGBT pride event in North Carolina last weekend.
Joan Parker admits she kissed a preacher on the cheek at the Saturday event in Salisbury, N.C., proclaimed by the mayor as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Day.
“He was just waving his arms and has a Bible in one hand, up and down, and screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘sodomites’ and ‘you’re going to hell,'” Parker said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
“I thought he needed a hug. So I gave him a hug.”
“He claims I kissed him on the lips, and he’s a damned liar,” said Parker. “I believe I did kiss him on his cheek.”
Now the preacher, 49-year-old James Edward Belcher of Taylorsville, N.C. — minister at the New Light Baptist Church No. 2 in Millers Creek, N.C. — is filing charges against the 74-year old woman.
Belcher contends the kiss “was just one of many attempts to silence the preaching to those in need of salvation who practice a death style that they call a lifestyle.”
“If I hadn’t turned my head, I’d have gotten it right on my mouth,” he said.
Police chief Rory Collins said he hadn’t expected Belcher to press charges, but concedes he has every right to. “She might disagree with this, but it wasn’t done as a show of affection,” he said. “It was an unwanted touching.”
Parker is being charged with simple assault which is a misdemeanor.