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Aug 5, 2014

Leader of NC's anti-marriage equality effort: Gay people 'defying what they were created to be'

Raleigh, N.C. (August 5, 2014) – Equality NC responded on Tuesday to comments from Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the anti-LGBT North Carolina Values Coalition and leader of North Carolina’s anti-marriage equality efforts who, in a recent interview, said gay people are “defying what they were created to be.”

Earlier on Tuesday, GLAAD’s Jeremy Hooper reported that in a July 30 interview with conservative Christian radio program Called 2 Action, Fitzgerald responded to the unanimous spate of federal court rulings in favor of the freedom to marry by attempting to speak for gay people’s intentions in pursuing marriage equality.

The anti-LGBT lobbyist told radio host Steve Noble that gay people believe, “if we just had enough courts tell us it’s OK, we’ll feel better about ourselves.”

Speaking again for the gay community, Fitzgerald posited, “What they’re really longing for is a relationship…a relationship with Jesus Christ. Not with another male or another female.”

She added, “They’re longing for a deeper relationship with the one who created them, and they are defying what they were created to be.”

Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, North Carolina’s LGBT advocacy organization and the leading opponent of the state’s marriage equality ban, was quick to respond to Fitzgerald’s accusations, calling her comments “extreme” and a repudiation of true North Carolina values.

“Committed same-gender couples across North Carolina and this nation are seeking the freedom to marry not, as Fitzgerald says, ‘to feel better about ourselves,’ but rather for the same reasons that different-gender couples marry: to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love, and protect their families,” said Sgro. “Ms. Fitzgerald’s comments are therefore not only inflammatory and extreme, but run counter to what we see as true North Carolina values — the importance of family and helping out our neighbors; the responsibilities of making ends meet amid the possibility of losing a job; and our shared hopes and dreams — like finding that special someone to grow old with, and standing in front of friends and family to make a lifetime commitment.”

North Carolina faith leaders have also been quick to respond to news of Fitzgerald’s anti-gay comments.

“Tami Fitzgerald’s words do not reflect my Christian values,” Minister Michelle Mathis of Hickory’s Olive Branch Ministries said Tuesday. “I believe all North Carolinians were created by God and in His image, that Christ calls us, through grace, to love one another, and that it’s not up to me or anyone else to judge. It’s my hope that any North Carolinian would reflect on these values before speaking ill of their neighbors, including Ms. Fitzgerald.”

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