Thousands Protest in N.C. Against Anti-Gay Pastor

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday May 30, 2012

Thousands of protesters showed up in North Carolina after a pastor from the state made national headlines last week for his vicious anti-gay sermon.

Charles L. Worley, 71, of Providence Road Baptist Church, said he wanted to "get rid of all the lesbians and queers" and wanted to see gays and lesbians rounded up and put in concentration camps. His comments were caught on tape and posted on the Internet, causing the video to go viral.

"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," he 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 attacked President Obama and called him 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!"

The Baptist minister's remarks made the national news as many were outraged by his hateful and violent rhetoric. Last weekend more than a 1,000 people gathered in front of the Justice Center in the small town of Newton, N.C., to protest Worley.

Reuters reported that protesters held up signs that read, "Will God judge me for loving or hating?" and "Don't Fence Me In." Some people wore rainbow colors and others yelled "Preach Love Not Hate."

The protest's organizers said they held the event in Newton because of the large number attendees and due to the fact that Worley's church is in a remote location, seven miles away from Newton. Additionally, church officials said that they are not allowing media on the church's grounds.

"The church has requested that all media be restricted, so you will need to leave the property immediately," a deputy told the media.

Worley's sermon spurred a number of strong reactions as many individuals were greatly impacted by the pastor's comments.

"My brother, now deceased, lived an alternative lifestyle," Sonya Briggss, a protester and a North Carolina resident said. "If he was here today, he would have to worry about being targeted and put into a concentration camp."

The pastor wasn't alone though. Worley had about 20 supporters who showed up at the protest to defend him. The group held up signs that read "God is why Sodom got fired."

One of his supporters was Reverend Billy Ball from Faith Baptist Church in Primrose, Georgia, who said Worley had a right to make his controversial comments. Ball, however, wished that the pastor attended the protest.

"Worley was told by his lawyers not to attend," Ball said. "I believe this is cowardly. If you make a statement such as he did you should defend it."

Watch the video of Worley's sermon and a clip of the protest below: