Holding signs with such slogans as 'Stop the Hate' and 'Gay Rights are Civil Rights,' more than 1,000 people on Sunday (27 May) demonstrated against a North Carolina pastor who recommended that gays and lesbians be confined behind electric fences so they will all die off.
The Sunday sermon by Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, went viral after it was posted on YouTube.
He had said: '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… And you know what, in a few years, they'll die.'
'Hopefully our protest today will send a message that we, as a community, as a state and as a country, will not stand in the background in silent acceptance,' said Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate member Laura Tipton whose group discovered the sermon on the church's website. 'This protest has grown beyond Pastor Worley. I hope his congregation sees that we are gathering in love. Their messages are wrong, and we will not accept them.'
But Worley continues to have his supporters.
The Hickory Record reports that there were more than 50 counter-protestors with signs that had such signs as 'Sodomites are vile, unnatural and worthy of death. Romans 1:21-32.' And 'Gay pride is why Sodom got fried.'
Meanwhile, Worley received a standing ovation as he took the pulpit at his church on Sunday.
He did not apologize for his anti-gay remarks.
'I’ve got a King James Bible,' he told the congregation. 'I’ve been a preacher for 53 years. Do you think I’m going to bail out on this? Everything I do, say, or preach, I believe in this book.'
Below is video of the portion of the May 13 sermon where the anti-gay remarks were made by Worley. It has been viewed on YouTube by nearly 950,000 people as of Monday afternoon (28 May) PST: