By Joe Harris
The pastor of a North Carolina Baptist congregation this month denounced homosexuality, and called for the extermination of all gays and lesbians, through the construction of an electrified fence, and waiting for them to die. A video posted on YouTube this week shows the sermon from Sunday, May 13, at Providence Road Baptist Church, in which the pastor of the Maiden, North Carolinabased parish, Charles Worley, tells his congregation, “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.” “In a few years they’ll die. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce,” added Worley, who has served as pastor of Providence Road Baptist since 1976. The minister also condemned President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality and support for reproductive rights, saying that he couldn’t vote for “a baby killer and a homosexual lover,” adding that “It makes me pukin’ sick to think about—I don’t even know whether y’all can say this in the pulpit or not—can you imagine kissing some man?”
During a 1978 sermon, Worley also preached about violence against LGBT persons, protesting that, “We’re living in a day when it saddens my heart to think homosexuals can go around, bless God, and get the applause of a lot of people, lesbians and all the rest of it. Forty years ago they would’ve hung, bless God, from a white oak tree, wouldn’t they,” he asked, before adding, “Amen.” North Carolina has been at the center of LGBT rights-related news in May. Voters there amended the state constitution this month to define marriage as between a man and a woman, and another pastor suggested that parents beat their children for displaying homosexual characteristics.
“Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch,” Bearean Baptist Church pastor J Sean Harris advised during a sermon. He later said that although he doesn’t advocate abuse, “effeminate behavior is ungodly.” Elsewhere in the Old South, despite bipartisan support for his nomination, a gay Virginia prosecutor’s judicial appointment was blocked last week by Republican members of Virginia’s House of Delegates. Tracy Thorne-Begland, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, lost his bid for the judicial vacancy by a vote of 33 to 31, with 10 abstentions.
The vote came as a shocker to Richmond pundits, who saw the broad bipartisan support for Thorne- Begland’s candidacy as a signpost of success. But after heavy lobbying from the Family Foundation, a socially conservative group which opposed his candidacy, and strongarming from conservative legislators, the May 15 vote—which was called by GOP House leaders after 1 a.m., when many lawmakers had already gone home—ended in defeat for the 45-year-old father of twins, who had disclosed his sexual orientation almost 20 years ago during an appearance on ABC’s “Nightline” to protest the military’s policies towards gay servicemembers. Following that disclosure, Thorne- Begland was honorably discharged from the Navy, after which he was reinstated by a federal court, and then re-discharged again under the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
He also served on the board of Equality Virginia, a gay rights nonprofit group. Conservative Republicans criticized Thorne-Begland’s biography, and pointed to it as a possible challenge to his impartiality on the bench. “It’s about a pattern of behavior that is just notorious for homosexual advocacy,” argued Delegate Bob Marshall, a Republican who opposed the nomination. “The fact that he defied his oath and could not have been candid on the application—that’s highly problematic, and it stays with you,” Marshall added.