KANNAPOLIS — Christian activist and former Republican state legislator turned Cabarrus County Commissioner Coy Privette, 74, was arrested and charged July 19 on misdemeanor prostitution charges. Privette was charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution after he reportedly rented rooms at hotels in Salisbury, N.C., and paid Tiffany Summers, 32, for sex six times in May and June.
Cabarrus County Commissioner Coy Privette.
Privette is scheduled for a hearing in Rowan County Aug. 22.
Further changes related to check forgery against Privette and Summers have been dropped.
Gay and lesbian Cabarrus County residents should be familiar with Privette’s widely-known anti-gay stance. In 2003, when two gay men were baptized together at McGill Baptist Church in Concord, Privette quickly jumped on the bandwagon to have the church kicked out of the Cabarrus Baptist Association.
Said the Rev. Randy Wadford, the association’s missions director, during the controversy: “The homosexual lifestyle is contrary to God’s will and plan for mankind. To allow individuals into the membership of a local church without evidence or testimony of true repentance is to condone the old lifestyle.”
Privette echoed his sentiments in a Charlotte Observer interview. “[Becoming] a new creature in Jesus Christ” means old things pass away. “Everybody is welcome,” he said, “but you’ve got requirements for membership in churches.”
He was a state representative from 1984 to 1992. During his political career he has emerged as one of the state’s strongest foes of ordinances allowing liquor by the drink and has spoken against gay and lesbian equality and illegal immigration.
In 1992, when statewide activists were attempting to overturn N.C.’s now defunct sodomy statute, Privette insisted the law remain in place.
“In light of the AIDS epidemic, for health reasons, we should maintain that provision,” he said.
Even further back, in 1988, Privette was towing the anti-gay line, when, as a conservative candidate for the legislature, he indicated that he felt the state should ban student funding of LGBT groups on University of North Carolina system campuses.
Privette was the president of the Christian Action League (he resigned following his arrest), a statewide organization that promotes legislation that is “consistent with a Christian worldview,” according the group’s website. In years past he has served as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and been a member of the board of directors and executive committee.
In 1998 he was voted a Cabarrus County Commissioner and has held that post since that time.
He captured the national media spotlight attention in January after he proposed a resolution that commissioners adopt English as the county’s “official language.”
Since his arrest and subsequent release on his own reconnaissance, Privette has not attended any follow-up commission meetings. In addition to his resignation from the Christian Action League, he has also resigned from the Baptist State Convention.