The following was prompted, in part, by Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James’ Sunday tweet in which he shared a recent message from the pastor of Charlotte’s Calvary Church. In it, the pastor said, “God’s Plan is to Vote Yes [on Amendment One].” James’ tweet and the pastor’s message was the final impetus that led to this message – this public “talking to myself” – that follows below, as these thoughts have been swirling in my mind for months.

From the artist: 'I chose the word FAGGOT because today, gays are socially-acceptable and religiously-justifiable targets for hate. And, just like gays, Jesus was made a hate target in his time because he dared to be different, to tell his understanding of the truth even though his words and his position defied the religious establishment.'

As a person who grew up in the fundamentalist and evangelical Baptist faith, I’ve always felt a connection with those with whom I disagree on many matters of theology and doctrine, especially as it relates to sexuality. While my own faith has grown in different ways, I still identify as a Baptist and, in many ways, still proclaim that old evangelical faith of my childhood and of my ancestors. Even in the face my personal growth in faith, however, I’ve always been able to maintain some semblance of respect – some feeling of Christian brother- and sisterhood – with those who find themselves on the other side of the divide in our Christian family on homosexuality and matters of civic, social and religious equality for LGBT people.

Jeremy Hooper of GoodAsYou.org, among others, has been doing amazing work documenting the vitriol from religious right leaders in North Carolina during the debate over our proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. I’ve been surfing over to his blog many times to see his latest updates. It’s important work, and the words and statements Hooper documents need to be preserved for posterity, thereby enabling future generations to learn from the painful mistakes of their elders today. But, while reading the comments and statements Hooper shares, it has become increasingly more difficult for me to reconcile – to continue living in some spirit of Christian fellowship – with people who would see me and my life ostracized, marginalized and criminalized – some, even, to the point of physical abuse and, dare they say it, death.

I once firmly believed, despite the theological and doctrinal gap between us, that some sort of reconciliation and mutual respect was possible – that even among intense debate over the meaning of Scripture and the nature of the divine, those more fundamentalist or evangelical Christians and I could still manage to live, work, speak, love and act with true Christian grace and humility.

After months of incredibly incendiary and hateful debate, I fear such a notion was mere naïveté. The hate-filled words and actions of those I consider my brothers and sisters are pushing me away from – not drawing me closer toward – our God and our spiritual family. Whatever became of, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)?

How can I respect and love – much less expect it returned from – a person who believes it’s okay to punch a young gay boy or “crack” his “limp” wrist, as a Fayetteville, N.C., pastor told his congregation? How can I respect and love – much less expect it returned from – a person who believes that by me living life openly and honestly and expecting dignity and equality in return that I somehow have “signed America’s death warrant” and opened the doors to legalized pedophilia and bestiality? How can I respect and love – much less expect it returned from – a person who believes the government should jail or fine me for expressing my love toward another person? How can I respect and love – much less expect it returned from – a person who believes I and any future lifelong partner of mine and our family aren’t deserving of the same medical and legal benefits as my straight family members and friends and their families?

Of course, the list goes on and on.

In church yesterday, as our congregation celebrated this fifth Sunday of Easter, my pastor spoke of “doubting Thomas,” and the rightful place doubts and honest questions should have in a healthy, growing faith. It was a message, I think, I was meant to hear, for my doubts and questions have only grown since the beginning of this maddening and sickening debate in North Carolina.

How can so many of God’s children use God’s name in promoting division, prejudice, mean-spiritedness and hatred when the gospel I know speaks only of unity, fellowship, kindness and love? How can I reconcile my contempt for words of malice with Christ’s commandment to love one another as he loved us? How can I continue believing in the oneness of the body of Christ, yet be faced with the very stark reality that so many of my fellow Christians wish me cast out, placed aside and left behind?

My pastor’s message was prompted, of course, by John’s account of Thomas’ doubtful nature. But, it was the accompanying epistle reading, perhaps, that related so plainly to my own questions (emphasis added):

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:21-24, NRSV)

In thinking through my questions, I was also reminded of those old, familiar words from Ecclesiastes:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (3:1, NRSV)

As well as (once more, emphasis added):

Moreover I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work. (3:16-17, NRSV)

I can’t and won’t claim to have the answers I seek, but I think I’m heading in the right direction. I’ve always believed that many a well-meaning Christian have simply no real knowledge or awareness of the pain they cause in the lives of LGBT people. I’ve known too many good and kind-hearted people who fit this description – too many, dear friends and family included, who simply heed the misguided teachings and proclamations of their chosen religious leaders. These people would never intentionally hurt anyone and many have simply never had the opportunity to meet or speak with an LGBT person, much less the opportunity to learn how to love and include them unconditionally.

It isn’t my place to judge them. It isn’t my place to lash out with anger. It isn’t my place to threaten retribution. Instead, it is my place, as Christ commanded, to love and to teach, to live in kindness and charity. It’s a hard place to live in – difficult to practice love and fellowship when I know it might very well remain unrequited. Surely, it’s far more difficult than the easier path giving way to anger, frustration and bitterness. But, no one said it would be easy: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me,” Christ said (Luke 9:23, NRSV).

I am comforted knowing that history, no doubt guided by the hand of divine justice, falls squarely on the side of the oppressed:

The LORD works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed (Psalm 103:6, NRSV).

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19, NRSV).

In time, just as many did following the abominable era of slavery, the shameful mistreatment of women and the tumultuous days of Jim Crow and segregation, my fellow Christians who would seek to strip away my rights, my dignity and my humanity, will come to understand the errors of their ways. They will look back in shock; they will wonder why they said what they said, why they promoted division and hatred, why they voted to harm others. They will tell their children and grandchildren of the time when the world was a more hostile, less welcoming place. They will impart wisdom, borne from a personal experience wherein they themselves inflicted pain on others and learned lessons only that may teach. And, humanity will be better and stronger for it.

At least, that’s what I hope – even if doubt beckons me in the opposition direction.

No matter the outcome of North Carolina’s vote on Tuesday, I trust that our current struggle will not be in vain. I trust that some greater meaning and purpose is handed down in a lesson from which we can all learn better how to love one another and live in true Christian fellowship that celebrates, rather than takes insidious advantage of, our disagreements and differences.

The photograph used in this commentary is entitled “The Crucifixion of Christ,” a painting by artist Becki Jayne Harrelson, copyright © 1993. I encourage you to visit her website, peruse her other works and support her own, unique ministry.

I’ve had great respect for Billy Graham in my life thus far. That ends today. According to the Vote For Marriage NC coalition and The Charlotte Observer, Rev. Billy Graham has endorsed the anti-LGBT, anti-children, anti-family and anti-business constitutional amendment on the North Carolina May 8 ballot.

“At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,” the national religious leader says. “The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8.”

The flier is below.

It’s all too bad really. For such a respected man at the end of his life, this is how he decides to take a bow? More than likely, he’ll not live long enough to see his name drug through the mud as history turns its eye back on his bigotry with shameful judgment. Unlike George Wallace, Billy Graham will be able to offer no retraction or apology. Perhaps, he’ll be able to explain his support of a hateful and discriminatory measure attacking the “least of these” to God.

Pastor Michael 'Nuclear Holocaust' Barrett of Pleasant Garden Baptist Church

A short YouTube video released today contains portions of a sermon delivered by a North Carolina pastor, in which the leader says legalized marriage for same-sex couples will be like a “nuclear holocaust.”

Independent filmmaker Eric Preston compiled the video and titled it “LIES About Amendment One.” The video contains with excerpts from an April 1, 2012, sermon by Pleasant Garden Baptist Church Senior Pastor Michael Barrett entitled, “Marriage: God’s Design.” Preston says Barrett lied to his congregants about the details and impact of Amendment One, the anti-LGBT, anti-family and anti-business state constitutional amendment on the May 8, 2012, primary ballot.

Preston should be commended for countering the lies and even more so for bringing to light the utterly outrageous anti-gay rhetoric used by Barrett.

A “nuclear holocaust”? Really? I had no idea us gay folk were (a) so dangerous, (b) in possession of nuclear armaments and (c) willing to nuke mommies and daddies taking their kids out to stroll in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon. News to me.

Preston’s video is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re the kind that actually can bear to listen to complete nonsense, hate and bigotry, then download the full sermon by Barrett here or use the player below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video below; relevant “holocaust” comments at 3:59.

The Coalition to Protect All N.C. Families, those who are working overtime to defeat North Carolina’s anti-LGBT, anti-family, anti-business constitutional amendment on the May 8, 2012, primary ballot, have released new TV commercials detailing some of the potential harms of the measure.

In one ad, a mother speaks about her fear that Amendment One could strip health insurance from her daughter. More than 222,000 unmarried couples currently live in the state. Thousands of them have children. Domestic partner benefits covering unmarried partners and children — like those offered to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples in Greensboro — could be on the chopping block if the amendment passes.

But what has the rabidly anti-gay Amendment One proponents so worked up this week is the Coalition’s TV ad warning women about the consequences the amendment could have on current domestic violence protections.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is just completely beside itself, writing on its blog:

New ads in North Carolina are claiming NC’s Marriage Amendment will somehow interfere with domestic violence prosecutions for unmarried women. They know this is a lie. They have claimed the same thing before about, for example, Virginia’s similarly worded Marriage Amendment.

In Ohio a silly judge ruled that the marriage amendment had this effect, but he was swiftly overruled by Ohio courts. 30 states have marriage amendments. In none of them were women deprived of domestic violence protection.

More evidence that our opponents know they cannot win this vote on the main question: “should marriage remain a union of husband and wife?”

A “silly judge”? “Swiftly overruled”?

Groups like NOM and the North Carolina’s Vote For Marriage NC aren’t being completely honest with the public. The anti-amendment Coalition isn’t lying: Ohio courts had, indeed, interpreted their amendment to mean that domestic violence protections for unmarried couples were invalid. And, there was no “swift” action overruling such cases. It took nearly three years for the Ohio Supreme Court to finally settle the matter — three years that domestic violence victims and their children were forced to wait in fear and uncertainty.

In case you missed it back in March, you should catch this in-depth summary of the domestic violence debate by The News & Observer‘s Craig Jarvis.

The question here isn’t whether North Carolina’s amendment will have a definite impact on such protections. Rather, it is whether the amendment could. The uncertainty of Amendment One and its potential harms is what is so devastating.

No one — not NOM or Vote For Marriage NC or the anti-amendment Coalition — can see into the future. No one can say whether the amendment will have a definite impact one way or the other. NOM cannot know that the amendment will have no negative effects. That Amendment One could have these impacts is, by far, the most truthful and accurate statement thus far made in this debate — a warning the Coalition to Protect All N.C. Families has been sounding since the campaign’s inception.

Anti-gay opponents in North Carolina don’t want to face the facts about Amendment One. Just like their Ohio counterparts who argued in favor of stripping away domestic violence protections in order to protect their discriminatory amendment, NOM and Vote For Marriage NC are, above all other considerations, ideologues first and foremost, unwilling to deal with reality and the possible ramifications of their efforts to experiment with our guiding and foundational governing documents.

Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a new and updated list of anti-gay organizations it has named to their infamous list of hate groups. The list continues to include the Family Research Council, which is taking a leading role in fighting for Amendment One, the proposed anti-LGBT amendment to the North Carolina state constitution. The Family Research Council’s president, Tony Perkins, appeared in Charlotte on Sunday. You can read my in-depth review of his appearance here, or check out this week’s “Sex, Cash & Politics,” for more Perkins’ history of work in the field of hate…

Amendment One supporter’s ‘fruit’ is rotten to the core

Tony Perkins

On March 4, Tony Perkins, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council delivered a guest sermon at Charlotte’s First Baptist Church (click here for an in-depth review). His presence at the home church of North Carolina Baptist State Convention President Mark Harris is significant and comes as voters soon head to the polls to vote on Amendment One, the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions and domestic partnerships for unmarried opposite-sex and same-sex couples alike.

Despite his pleas to God and Christ’s Gospel, Perkins is no run-of-the-mill Christian conservative and his fruit would be unrecognizable to Christ, who said his disciples would be known by their love for one another. I have faith that other Christians voting in May won’t be so easily deceived. The truth will be apparent to them: Perkins’ discord, divisiveness and hate are no sign of Christ or the Gospel. To the contrary, Perkins’ work is the perfect Gospel antithesis.

Read the rest of the weekly column at SexCashandPolitics.com…

This post is an in-depth review of the March 4, 2012, worship service at First Baptist Church of Charlotte — its pastor, Mark Harris, the president of the North Carolina Baptist Convention — and its guest sermon by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (reported by The Charlotte Observer here). Quotes from Harris and Perkins, along with the full audio, follow initial commentary. In addition, other commentary by Matt Comer is provided in red and [in brackets]. A YouTube video with Perkins’ most direct comments on marriage and North Carolina’s anti-LGBT constitutional amendment, young people and LGBT people is included at the end, along with a transcript. A final commentary and a call for Perkins and Harris to end their harm against LGBT youth and people follows at the conclusion of the post. Finally, my first column in the new weekly series, “Sex, Cash & Politics,” will delve into Perkins’ hate group connections. The column will be delivered today to print and online publications across North Carolina and cane be used free-of-charge as an op-ed or guest commentary. Click here to learn more about the column and subscribe for free.


You gotta hand it to Southern Baptists. They know how to put on a show. Blaring trumpets, waving flags and soaring patriotic melodies blended together with a little bit of soul and spirit in calls for defending “God and Country.”

It was Durham-based blogger Pam Spaulding that alerted me to the Family Research Council‘s Values Bus Tour stop on Sunday at First Baptist Church-Charlotte. I and an acquaintance decided to go. Mostly I was curious: Why in the world was Mark Harris, the pastor of one of Charlotte’s landmark Baptist churches and president of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, allowing a man like Family Research Council President Tony Perkins to speak at his church? Why would a seemingly Christ-loving, people-loving pastor allow the leader of a hate group to speak to his congregants?

Tony Perkins

After more than an hour of First Baptist worship, the reason became clear.

“Tony Perkins…has been willing to step up and speak out,” Harris told his congregants, affirming that Harris’ brand of Christianity is just as hate-filled and exclusive as Perkins’.

Marriage and the church are under attack, First Baptist Church-Charlotte Pastor and N.C. Baptist Convention President Mark Harris and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said on Sunday. And, it is up to the faithful to defend against the attacks of Satan. For any keen observer — and, no doubt, to any of the few LGBT young people in the audience (of which I am sure there are quite a few, given how large a congregation First Baptist is) — it’s clear who Harris and Perkins think are on the satanic side of the LGBT equality debate. For all their whimpering over faith and freedom, what they really wish to create is a heterosexuals-only, exclusive country club.

Take, for instance, the First Baptist choir’s performance of the song, “Livin’ in the Homeland,” before Perkins’ sermon. A recording of the song (not of the choir itself, sorry) and portion of the lyrics:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Livin’ in the homeland, not afraid to take a stand,
Every woman, child and man deserves to be free.
Stand tall. Don’t fall. All for one. One for all.
That is the battle call for you and for me.

Side by side, hand in hand, for freedom’s cause we’ll take a stand!

March! March with our flags held high.
Not afraid to fight. Not afraid to die.
March! March for the cause is just.
‘Tis a sacred honor, ‘tis a holy trust.

Freedom and liberty demand a high cost.
Many rights gained through so many lives lost.
The brave and the free know it goes hand in hand,
If you dare to dream, dare to dream,
Dare to dream of livin’ in the homeland.

And, they call gay people militant? That’s another debate for another day (and one we’ve had before…). But, one can’t help but find it ridiculously funny that Harris, Perkins and Co. believe they are the ones whose rights are under attack. I see no proposed constitutional amendments seeking to limit their rights. I see no organized movement to send Christians to “ex-Christian” camps. I see no state legislatures taking up “Don’t say Christian” bills. I see no school principals or school boards in mass denying the formation of Christian school groups or expelling heterosexual students and their boyfriends or girlfriends.

It’s a topsy-turvy world Harris and Perkins live in. The whole weight of a discriminatory body of law weighs down on the lives of LGBT people, yet it’s the WASP-y Christians who are oppressed? Talk about delusional.  Continue reading this post…

The Christian Action League, perhaps among one of the most far-right, anti-LGBT hate groups in North Carolina, posted yesterday an extraordinary insight into their religiously-bigoted efforts to write discrimination into our state constitution and further increase the hate-filled, divisive politics that has become the brand of modern-day right-wing ideologues.

The Rev. Rocky Carpenter, pastor of Harmony Community Church in Peachland, N.C., has started up a weekly prayer effort to guide Tar Heel bigots in their quest to constitutionalize discrimination against LGBT people in North Carolina. “Harmony,” it seems, is a state of being to which queer folk don’t get access.

From the Christian Action League:

“At the first Vote FOR Marriage NC meeting I went to, Tami Fitzgerald (Vote FOR Marriage NC chairwoman) asked for a prayer leader. God quickened my heart, and after praying for a week, I called her to let her know that I was the man to lead the prayer effort,” said the Rev. Carpenter. He said his beautiful wife of 27 years, four children and two grandchildren were also among the reasons he stepped up to the plate.

“We must preserve marriage God’s way,” he added. “God is calling his elect to boldly and lovingly stand for the preservation of marriage according to his word in this great state of North Carolina!”

He said to be victorious in this battle, Christians should “pray without ceasing” and “enlist as many as possible to pray.”

For that reason he is calling on pastors and their congregations to use their e-mail and social networking sites to spread the word about the importance of defending traditional marriage and the need to call on God for his help. He said it will take pastors to lead the charge, but that all believers should be joining in prayer since James 5:16 promises that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

The Rev. Carpenter is also designating Friday of each week as the Vote FOR Marriage NC corporate prayer day since the sixth day of the week corresponds to the sixth day of creation when, according to Gen. 1:26-28, God created man and woman.

According to the anti-gay activist group, Carpenter is asking folks to pray for three outcomes (again from Christian Action League):

  • “Pray for the salvation of our gay and lesbian neighbors (Isaiah 59:1,2),” he wrote, reminding recipients of the message that homosexuals are not the enemy (Ephesians 6:12).
  • He also asked for prayer for Vote FOR Marriage coalition leaders (1 Tim. 2:1,2), for workers (Matthew 9:37, 38), and for financial provision (2 Cor. 9:7).
  • Most of all, he challenged marriage supporters to pray that “God would be glorified in this effort! (Rev. 4:11)”

I hereby propose an alternative to Carpenter’s prayer Fridays: On Fridays through May 8, I hope you’ll join me for “Freaky Fanatic Friday” tweets, highlighting some of the insane and horrendously bigoted comments being made by anti-gay activists in North Carolina.

Some examples:

  •  Gay “have to wear a diaper or a butt plug just to be able to contain their bowels.” Patrick L. Wooden, Upper Room Church of God in Christ, Raleigh, N.C.
  • “I know of a case where in a hospital a homosexual male had a cellphone lodged in his anus and as they were operating on him the phone went off, the phone started ringing!” Patrick L. Wooden.
  • Gay sex “will most certainly mean the extinction of the human race.” Patrick L. Wooden.
  • Gay people are a “darkened, twisted, immense depository of depravity.” Rev. Ron Baity, Berean Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Loving, committed same-sex couples are “greatest threat to marriage and morality in this country.” N.C. Family Policy Council.
  • On the amendment: “It’s also to put a big letter of shame on the behavior. We don’t want them here. We don’t want them marrying. If you’re going to do it in San Francisco, it’s your own business.” Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James.
  • “The public in my opinion knows the difference between perversity and diversity.” Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James.
  • Homosexuality is “caused by something radically wrong with the human heart!” Rev. Mark Creech, Christian Action League.
  • Homosexuality is “unnatural,” “biologically destructive,” caused by “abuse or acquired taste.” N.C. Family Policy Council.
  • Durham lesbian blogger Pam Spaulding needs “man [to] rock her world, in the name of the Lord.” Patrick L. Wooden.

(Sources: Right-Wing Watch, New Civil Rights Movement, Good As You, Pam’s House Blend, News & Observer, )

 

Vote for Marriage NC, the referendum committee heading up the campaign to approve an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment in May, is playing catch-up today. They’re trying to convince the public that their communications director, Rachel Lee, didn’t so much as “lie” about polling numbers on the amendment at the Greensboro City Council meeting Tuesday as she merely “misspoke.”

Lee’s Tuesday-night remarks (h/t Roch101):

Activist Tyler McCall caught Lee’s remarks and reached out to Public Policy Polling via Twitter on Tuesday evening. That short convo, as I reported on Wednesday morning:

According to Tyler, the NC4Marriage rep said Durham-based Public Policy Polling had found that 70 percent of Greensboro residents were in favor of the amendment. To his credit, Tyler sniffed a rat in that mountain of a woodpile.

He contacted PPP via Twitter: “@pppolls – Speaker at Greensboro City Council tonight said that 70% of #GSO residents support #Amendment1, according to your poll. True?”

PPP’s response was simple enough: “We have not done a poll of Greensboro residents.”

Greensboro blogger Ed Cone was able to speak to Lee. His account of his telephone conversation with her (h/t Roch101):

She said that on Tuesday, as she was rushing out the door for a television interview, a coworker gave her a spreadsheet with a lot of numbers on it.

This led to confusion. The numbers she attributed to PPP in Greensboro were actually, she said, from Civitas and for Charlotte.

She says poll numbers for Greensboro are actually 61% for Greensboro and 66% for the Piedmont. A comment from her coworker in the thread below this post indicates that these numbers also come from Civitas, not PPP.

I asked her if my reading of the amendment is correct, that it would outlaw civil unions in North Carolina.

She said the amendment defines marriage.

I repeated my question about outlawing civil unions. She said she was in a hurry, but civil unions already are not legal in this state.

I said, OK, but since you are in a hurry, could you tell me, yes or no, if this amendment would indeed make civil unions unconstitutional in North Carolina.

She said, I’m calling you back in reference to the poll question.

I said, So you will not answer the question, yes or no, would this amendment make civil unions unconstitutional in North Carolina?

She said, You have a good day, Ed, bye, and she hung up.

“Lenny” from Vote for Marriage NC (who is this guy, exactly) also commented on my Wednesday morning post regarding Lee’s lies. He wrote:

Greetings Matt,

Thanks for contacting us. I wanted to share with you those numbers she mentioned from the Civitas Jan 2012 poll. Support for the Constitutional Amendment to protect the definition of marriage:

Total Support: 62%
Charlotte Media Market: 74%
Greensboro MM: 61%
Piedmont Triad: 66%
Men: 64%
Women: 61%
Piedmont Triad: 66%

There is also a majority support among Men (64%), Women (61%), registered Republicans (75%), Democrats (58%), Independents (52%), all categories of likely voters (62%-78%), African Americans (66%), and whites (62%). You’ll find the Civitas Jan 2012 poll posted on their website soon.

Have a great day!

PS: We talked to Ed Cone and supplied him with some information. You can find it here:http://edcone.typepad.com/wordup/2012/02/they-write-letters.html#comments

He made the exact same comment at Ed Cone’s pad. To which Roch101 responded:

“Lenny,” thank you for commenting. I see that you are with Vote for Marriage NC. In light of this week’s events, you will understand if we simply do not accept as credible another undocumented assertion from your Political Action Committee.

Since the poll you cite is not listed among the poll results on the Civitas website, please provide a link to these poll results or email them to me: sysop@wirecom.com

Roch hits it right on the nail. Vote for Marriage NC is still attempting to deceive the Greensboro and North Carolina public. Regardless of their attempts to spin, none of the numbers they’re providing now even come close to Lee’s comments. Even the Civitas numbers Vote for Marriage NC says Lee was really citing don’t say that 70 percent of Greensboro residents support the amendment. That number is just 61 percent.

Yesterday’s post on Greensboro City Councilmember Trudy Wade was harsh — I admit it. But, certainly it wasn’t any harsher than the painfully bigoted position Wade took heading into last night’s debate on a resolution to oppose the state’s anti-LGBT, anti-family constitutional amendment.

The resolution passed 7-1, with Wade the lone dissenter.

Wade had wanted to postpone last night’s debate on the resolution. She insisted that the city should hold public hearings on the matter, despite the fact that her Republican colleagues in the North Carolina House and Senate failed to just that, rushing the proposed amendment through the committee process in the House and attempting to conceal its identity in the Senate.

But, nonetheless, it was a public hearing Wade wanted and a public hearing Wade got.

Council members went wide when nearly the whole room stood in favor of #gsoresolution
@reldredg
Robert Eldredge

 

From the looks of the livetweeting last night by @racetotheballot, @nc4equality and others, Wade got more feedback than she’d ever need. So much so, that the Greensboro City Council decided to take a 10-minute recess in the middle of the public comment period.

 

A few highlights from those opposed to the amendment and in favor of the resolution, who, by far, outweighed the number of speakers standing in favor of discrimination:

"We urge the city council to oppose [#Amendment1]. We stand for equal rights for all." -Rep. from League of Women Voters #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8
A recently naturalized citizen shares her opposition to #Amendment1. This amendment doesn't aline with pledge of allegiance. #GSOresolution
@NC4Equality
NeighborsforEquality
"1 in 10 #Guilford county residents are unemployed...[and] we don't need divisive mean-spirited amendments right now." #GSOresolution #may8
@NC4Equality
NeighborsforEquality
"If Amendment One is adopted cities like #GSO will no longer b able 2 provide DP benefits to city employees" -AndrewSpainhour #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8

 

And, when it was time for discussion by council itself, I don’t think I could have been any prouder:

"I believe taking a stand can only lead other municipalities to take a stand." -Marikay Abuzuaiter #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8
"[#Amendment1] will affect domestic partnerships & unions & has the potential to take away benefits." - Yvonne Johnson #GSOresolution #may8
@NC4Equality
NeighborsforEquality
Yvonne Johnson asks "do we want to take the risk of Bank of America leaving #CLT?" on opposing #Amendment1 #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8
Truth from Nancy Vaughn of the #GSO city council: neither the house, nor the Senate, had public hearings on #Amendment1. #GSOresolution
@NC4Equality
NeighborsforEquality
"Perhaps if they had listened to their constituents...they wld hv learnd amending our const. is poor pub. policy" -N. Vaughan #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8
"Gay people are just like you & me. They pay their taxes...and they're our neighbors." - Nancy Vaughn #GSOresolution #Amendment1
@NC4Equality
NeighborsforEquality
"I dont want to send the message to our gay citizens that they R not valued in our community." -N. Vaughan #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8
Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman believes #Amendment1 brands state as "regressive and noninclusive" #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8

 

Perhaps the most inspiring comments from council came from none other than Greensboro’s Republican mayor, Robbie Perkins, proving that the amendment isn’t a gay-straight or Democratic-Republican issue, but rather one that affects all people:

Republican #GSO Mayor Robbie Perkins sharing his evolution on #equality. #GSOresolution #Amendment1
@NC4Equality
NeighborsforEquality
"I can take a stand...bc...we R all in this together." #GSO Mayor Robbie Perkins #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8
"We can build a strong city, state, and country...I am in support of the #GSOresolution." - Mayor Robbie Perkins #Amendment1
@NC4Equality
NeighborsforEquality
"Willing to use the differencein us to build a stronger city, state & country....I will support resolution"#GSO Mayor Perkins #GSOresolution
@RaceToTheBallot
RaceToTheBallot#May8

 

In Mourning: Trudy Wade comes to the realization that bigotry isn't a winner.

And, while all this was going on, Dear Trudy (in center, photo at right) stayed silent. Her somber mood and her in-mourning-like dress was all quite fitting. If you’re going to stand up for evil, might as well wear its colors.

There were few people who spoke out against the resolution and in favor of the amendment. Of those who did, however, one person stood out of the pack.

Tyler J. McCall, an activist with Neighbors for Equality, tweeted that communications director for Vote For Marriage NC, the referendum committee pushing for the anti-LGBT amendment, shared not-so-accurate facts.

According to Tyler, the NC4Marriage rep said Durham-based Public Policy Polling had found that 70 percent of Greensboro residents were in favor of the amendment. To his credit, Tyler sniffed a rat in that mountain of a woodpile.

He contacted PPP via Twitter: “@pppolls – Speaker at Greensboro City Council tonight said that 70% of #GSO residents support #Amendment1, according to your poll. True?”

PPP’s response was simple enough: “We have not done a poll of Greensboro residents.”

If you’re going to religion and God to push discrimination into the state’s constitution, one might think you’d try to at least be honest with it. Nope. Anti-gay zealots have a tendency to suspend that scriptural prohibition against lying when attacking the gays. Rule numero uno in their “How to Malign the Fags Handbook” — it’s in chapter one, “Distractions and Division 101.”

 

5

Gays, gays and gays… Oh My!

cal_screenshotEveryone knows the radical right is, for whatever reason, absolutely fixated on anal sex. Everything they do and say always seems to come back to the “homosexual agenda.”

This week, the Christian Action League of North Carolina takes the cake. In their weekly email newsletter, the group sent out summaries of their four latest “news stories.” The group isn’t just an anti-gay group, they’re pretty much an anti-everything group. It usually isn’t surprising to see “stories” ranting against tobacco and alcohol use, supporting higher tobacco and cigarette taxes and other prohibition-like sentiments. But, this week, it was all about “teh gays.”

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