Calif. Church’s N.C. Billboard Apologizes for Recent Anti-Marriage Vote
A church based in California set up a billboard in Charlotte, N.C., in order to apologize to the state's gay community after voters approved a constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex couples from getting married, the New York Daily News reported.
"Missiongathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who denied rights and equality to so many in the name of God," the sign reads.
Rev. Alex Roller of the Missiongathering Church, which is based in San Diego, said the billboard was put up to apologize to North Carolina's gay community and to explain that some Christians do not speak for all Christians.
"Our goal in putting out the message of this apology was to say to the LGBT community of North Carolina and likeminded straight allies that there are people across the country that stand in support with you, and to know that you're not alone in this journey for the fight for marriage equality," Roller told local media.
He added that the Church got the idea for the billboard, which is on Billy Graham Parkway, from similar signs that were put up to respond to Proposition 8 in San Diego in 2008.
The billboard cost $3,000 and will be up for four weeks. Roller told the newspaper that the church got the money through personal donations and from Givmo - a social networking fundraising website.
Not everyone was pleased with the sign, however. David Hains of the Catholic Church Dioceses of Charlotte told local media that he does not support the sign.
"I'm proud of what the people of North Carolina have done and what they said on May 8," said Hains. "It's disappointing that Christians would call people names, but I have no apologies for what the people of North Carolina said."
It seems as though North Carolina has been the hub for all things anti-gay lately. Last month, a pastor from the state made national headlines after he delivered a homophobic sermon calling for gays to be put behind an electric fence and be killed off.
"Build a great big, large fence -- 50 or a 100 miles long -- and put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food," Charles Worley said. "Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals - and have that fence electrified so they can't get out. Feed 'em. And you know in a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce."
Worley also said that President Obama is a "baby killer" and a "homosexual lover."
"I've never been as sick in my life of our president getting up and saying it was alright for two women to marry, or two men to marry. I can tell you right now, I was disappointed bad," he said. "I'll tell you right there, it's as sorry as you can get. The Bible is against, God's against, I'm against and if you've got any sense you're against!"
In addition to not recognizing marriage equality, North Carolina does not have any anti-discrimination policies or hate crime laws that protect members of the LGBT community.