RALEIGH, N.C. — Anti-gay organizations in North Carolina are planning to hold a rally to promote the proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment that would ban recognition of marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples in North Carolina.
Return America, a Wallburg, N.C.-based group headed by Dr. Ron Beaty of Davidson County’s Berean Baptist Church, is planning the event. It will be held on Hallifax Mall at the North Carolina Legislative Building on May 17. Attorney and Christian Law Association founder David Gibbs, Jr. is scheduled to speak at the rally.
The Davidson County religious advocacy group will be encouraging congregations across the state to attend.
“We are also asking every individual who believes in traditional Biblical marriage to make May 17th a priority day,” Return America states on its website. “The future of our children and grand children may be determined by the outcome of this Rally.”
The North Carolina Family Policy Council, a state affiliate of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Center, is also promoting the event.
“The upcoming Marriage Amendment Rally is an important way for North Carolinians, who are concerned about the escalating attacks on the institution of marriage, to show lawmakers that they want the opportunity to vote on a Marriage Protection Amendment,” Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, said in a release in his organization’s website. “Despite the change in leadership in both chambers, lawmakers are under tremendous pressure from homosexual activists and their allies to ignore this important legislation. We can counter their efforts by attending the Marriage Amendment Rally on May 17, and showing our opponents and lawmakers that the citizens of North Carolina are serious about protecting marriage in North Carolina.”
The Family Research Council was named last year a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Equality North Carolina has responded to the rally with a “Bucks Against Bigotry” campaign. The group says it will raise $10,000 in response to the rally. The money will be used to shore up the group’s several education, engagement and advocacy initiatives as pending constitutional amendments await hearing in the state legislature.
“We’re excited about the BUCKS AGAINST BIGOTRY Campaign because it’s important to take a stand against bullies who try to demonize LGBT North Carolinians,” said Kay Flaminio, Equality NC’s Director of Development. “We’re making this our virtual rally against bigotry and reminding them that their bigotry only makes us stronger!”
Return America has held anti-gay rallies in Raleigh before, one as recent as 2009 and one in 2007. Attorney David Gibbs also spoke at the 2009 event, where he said of marriage equality, “Why not polygamy, or three or four spouses? Maybe people will want to marry their pets or robots.”
Efforts to counter-protest the May 17 rally are unknown at this time.