NC: State senator refuses to meet with P-FLAG, NAACP after bigot eruption
State Senator Jim Forrester (R-Gaston), is filled with hate for the LGBT residents of North Carolina. This legislator has, for the last six years as the first order of business, filed a marriage amendment (that has failed to reach a vote each time). He is also in favor of preventing gay and lesbian couples from adopting.
In his latest bigot eruption, Forrester adds overt racism to his dance card, blaming the states increasingly progressive tilt to blacks that dare to vote, as well as the Homosexual Lobby in the state capital of Raleigh.
“The (state) Senate is as liberal as I’ve ever seen it,” Forrester said at the monthly meeting of the Iredell County Young Republicans on Tuesday night in Mooresville.
“Slick city lawyers and homosexual lobbies and African American lobbies are running Raleigh,” Forrester added.
…So it may be viewed with some irony that Forrester said the GOP would likely have taken back control of at least one chamber of the General Assembly in 2008 had it not been for what he called the “Obama Tsunami.”
“It brought a lot of blacks out who don’t normally vote,” he said.
The 10-term Republican (who is running unopposed this year) then tossed barbs at outgoing State Senator Julia Boseman.
He said state Sen. Julia Boseman – the first openly gay person ever elected to the North Carolina General Assembly – “took a bunch of money from a big lesbian group.” Forrester said a male senator is rumored to be gay and is currently fighting off charges that he shot another man.
“And I say good riddance to them,” Forrester said. He said that neither of the two legislators showed any support for bills Forrester proposed to ban same-sex marriage in the state.
Forrester noted that he “is not against homosexuals.” He said he has gay patients who see him in his medical practice “and I treat them like everyone else.”
Any self-respecting, sane gay or lesbian in his district should not give Forrester one damn dime to his medical practice.
The local chapter of P-FLAG, led by Amy Sifford and Robert Kellogg, contacted Forrester to invite him to a face-to-face meeting to discuss his comments. Kellogg also approached the Gaston NAACP to see if it would participate in a joint meeting with Forrester (that chapter president, Clyde Walker, has requested the state leaders’ advice on how to respond to the legislator).
Forrester said Friday he would decline the invitation from the Gaston County chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays because he believes he’d be criticized for his conservative policies, particularly his stance against same-sex marriage.
“I doubt I will go to the meeting, but I appreciate the invitation anyhow,” Forrester said. “I don’t think it would be a constructive meeting. I think it would just increase animosity toward me, and I don’t want that.”
Gee, I wonder why?
PFLAG’s invitation was e-mailed to the senator on Friday, Kellogg said. Forrester said he would read it with interest, but said a meeting with the group would be unlikely.
“They don’t like my philosophy of traditional family values,” he said. “I don’t believe what they believe and they don’t believe what I believe, and they’re entitled to do that in this free country of ours.”
The Blend was contacted by Robert Kellogg, asking us to publicize this effort to start a dialogue on diversity with Forrester:
I would appreciate any help you could give in attempting to convince our state Senator to respond to the calls of his constituents and explaining the meaning of his words.
The fact is that if Dr. Forrester is a responsible physician who treats gay constituents, why is Sen. Forrester trying to legislate against any and all civil rights for his patients? At the very least he should meet and not dismiss them — as a lawmaker.
A portion of the P-FLAG letter is below the fold.
Sen. Jim Forrester has a long history bigoted comments and proposed legislation against gays, now it appears as though African-Americans as well as lawyers can be added to the list.
The Gaston County chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) would like to take this opportunity to state passionately how offensive and unprofessional Senator Forrester’s remarks were.
Senator Forrester made several references to homosexual and African-American lobbyists running Raleigh. Forrester also pointed out his opposition to recent legislation which has advanced civil rights for both African-Americans and the gay/lesbian populations of North Carolina, to which we ask the following: If Senator Forrester is against African-American and LGBT civil rights advancement, then what other minority group is he against?
To paraphrase Martin Luther King, we believe in a world where people should be judged on the conduct of their character rather than the color of their skin, who they fall in love with or any other defining characteristic or minority persuasion.
Senator Forrester stated that he did not intend to offend African-Americans or gays and hopes those who were hurt by the remarks will accept his apology. PFLAG, alongside of those constituents of the senator’s who were hurt or offended by his comments, would like to invite the senator to a face-to-face discussion on diversity and minority orientations.
PFLAG Gaston hopes the senator will take us up on our invitation for a dialogue where he can apologize face-to-face to those he hurt with his careless comments.
If Senator Forrester decides against a face-to-face meeting with the offended minorities of his district, then we hope he will think twice about the language he uses regarding African-Americans and the LGBT communities of North Carolina in the future.
Amy Sifford and Robert Kellogg
Executive President and Vice President of PFLAG Gaston
16 W. Jones Street, Room 1129
Raleigh, NC 27601-2808