If the ignorant were truly blessed, I swear this man, Charles L. Worley, Pastor of the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, would be a living saint. He earned his fifteen minutes of infamy in 2012 when in addressing his flock he made the following comment:
I had a way, I’ve figured a way out. A way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn’t get it past the Congress. Build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 miles long, put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. And have that fence electrified till they can’t get out. Feed them. And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.
My immediate reaction upon coming across this story was a belly laugh. Is it really possible that someone could be so bloody ignorant? Beyond that, I was torn between feelings of hoping this man does humanity a favour in not reproducing and hoping if he does breed, one or more of his children are lesbian and homosexual. Seriously, I think it better that he not breed or at least that any progeny he has are heterosexual, because the thought of gay children having this man as their father is just too horrifying.
I can laugh at this man and his crude bigotry as I live with my husband Mika in Canada. I have no doubt there are people who think like this man in Canada, but they are situated on the fringes of our society and have no influence on public policy. Same sex marriage and adoption is lawful in Canada. Homosexuality is largely accepted in Canadian society. The new leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and Premier of the Province of Ontario is a lesbian and for most it is a non-issue. It stops being funny, however, upon taking a closer look at the reality for gay people in the state of North Carolina in seeing that Amendment 1, “An Act to Amend the Constitution to Provide That Marriage Between One Man and One Woman is the Only Domestic Legal Union That Shall Be Valid or Recognized in This State,” was put to a public vote as a ballot initiative on May 8, 2012. North Carolina voters approved the amendment, 61.05% to 38.95%. While Charles L. Worley represents the poorly educated and bigoted in Christendom in North Carolina, Amendment 1 was supported by prominent conservative religious figures including Billy Graham and organizations including the Christian Action League, National Organization for Marriage and the Roman Catholic Archdioceses of Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. That they were able to carry the day in the vote is distressing. This came as a terrible set back in the struggle for civil rights for same sex couples.
As distressing as this must be, I am not letting despair take hold, as I am acquainted with a young gay couple living and loving in North Carolina who document their relationship on Youtube. Their names are Tyler and Alex. Each has his own Youtube channel: Tyler’s channel Alex’s channel. I subscribe to their channels and really enjoy hearing their thoughts, how they are feeling, the joys and stresses of being a couple. Theirs may not be a perfect relationship, but they look very happy together. I have no doubt the passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina came as a huge disappointment to Tyler and Alex and every other same sex couple living in this state, but they are setting a fine example in just getting on with living. This gives me hope that as the struggle for civil rights continues, they will prevail as will all other same sex couples in North Carolina in winning this fight. Beyond the optimism I find in Tyler and Alex’s loving relationship, the historical record shows that in the battles for civil rights, the abolition of slavery, the repeal of Jim Crow laws, etc., religious conservatives are consistently on the losing side. I have no doubt they will be defeated once again in this battle. Until then, the best advice I can offer to same sex couples in North Carolina is follow the example set by Tyler and Alex and find joy and happiness in living and loving together in spite of the regressive attitudes of those determined to deprive you of your civil rights.
Posted by Geoffrey