Feb 6, 2011
After a year of threatening notes and vandalism a Gay couple in North Carolina lost their home to an act of arson early Friday morning. This is the most recent in a string of arson attacks targeting Gay and Lesbian Americans in the south.
Christian ministers fighting against equality for Gay and Lesbian Americans are preaching to their congregations that homosexuality is an abomination before god and that Gays and Lesbians must be executed. This homophobic rhetoric is fanning the fires of hate in churches across America’s south.
Clayton, NC– Johnston County deputies are investigating an early Friday morning fire that destroyed a Clayton home and displaced a homosexual couple who lived there. WRAL-TV in Raleigh talked to a neighbor of the couple who said the couple had been victimized by harassment for more than a year.
Fire crews were called to the house on New Castle Court around 1:30 a.m. Friday. The couple was out of town when the fire was set, according to a neighbor and investigators.
The couple was not at home when the fire started and are now staying in a motel. They asked WRAL not to reveal their identity out of fear for their safety.
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell confirmed to the television station that the fire is being investigated as an arson. Bizzell said this fire does not appear to be related to a string of other suspicious fires in the area.
A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash against her, said there have been at least three separate incidents of anti-gay harassment at the couple’s home. She told WRAL, a note with derogatory language was left in the mailbox, an anti-gay slur was written on the house with marker and the tires of a car parked in the garage were slashed.
These same tactics were used by christian groups against African Americans in the south fifty years ago. Rather than writing “faggot” on the side of the house they burned a cross in the yard before torching the home. “We have no problem with “black folks” we just don’t want them in our neighborhood”, was the argument used by the christians in those days to justify the attacks.
Today descendants of those christians claim “we don’t mind the homosexual as long as they stay away from our kids and stop flaunting their lifestyle”. Many of the christian organizations who work to increase discrimination and violence against Gay and Lesbian Americans claim that homosexuals molest and recruit children. This completely discredited lie drives a good deal of the violence committed against our community.
Mercifully the most virulent of the christian hate groups spreading these lies are now being tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC is the same organization that helped bring down the Klu Klux Klan and monitors extremist groups in the United States.
When I was young we lived for a couple of years in a small town in Oklahoma. An interracial couple moved in a few houses down from us. John was the only black man in town, he came for a job in the oilfield. A couple of weeks after they arrived someone spray painted “go home nigger and nigger lover” in big letters on their garage door. Three nights later someone poured gasoline on their front and back porches and burned their house down. They barely escaped by crawling through a window. John actually had to break back into the house to rescue their 5 year old daughter. They left town two days later.
Over the next several weeks no one spoke of the terrible crime that was committed or how the family barely escaped with their lives. No one was arrested. What I remember most is everyone talking about how mixed race couples are sinners. Our methodist minister, yes I did attend church then, even gave a sermon on how mixing races was against gods plan. This was in the late 1970′s.
The same christian groups who burned down African American homes a half a century ago to run the “black folks” out of town are burning down Gay and Lesbian American homes today for the same reason. Bible based bigotry is not a justification to terrorize Americans citizens and must be stopped.