“For Fayetteville” Campaign Members Escorted Out Of “Protect Fayetteville” Rally

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Members of For Fayetteville, a group who supports the proposed civil rights ordinance in the city, said they were asked to leave a rally held by Protect Fayetteville Monday (August 11) at University Baptist Church.

Their guest speakers were a couple from Oregon, who said they were the victims of a civil rights ordinance in their city and are now appealing a $135,000 lawsuit.

Organizers with Protect Fayetteville said the rally was a private event.

"It was a rally for our supporters, a rally for our base," said Wendy Campbell.

But members of For Fayetteville said they were under the impression they were welcome.

"I was really excited to hear from the [couple] in Oregon," said Danielle Weatherby, a law professor who also works with For Fayetteville. “We thought it was a public event, because Alderman [John] La Tour announced during last week's city council meeting that the event would be open to the public.”

The event was also listed as public on a Facebook page for the rally. However, Duncan and Wendy Campbell said that was not the case, which is why they asked the group to leave.

“They went straight to over where we had the media," Wendy Campbell said. "They went straight for that because they wanted to create a scene."

Duncan Campbell added that the For Fayetteville group caused a disturbance.

"They were asked to leave, and they simply did not leave,” Duncan Campbell said. “That is what bullies do.”

Weatherby said they were confronted by a security guard, who asked them to leave the rally.

"It was in a church, and churches tend to embrace and welcome those into their sanctuary," Weatherby said. “Automatically, we were approached and asked to leave. The gentlemen was armed and got very close to us.”

Duncan Campbell said he hopes the two sides would respect each other’s boundaries at events.

“They had rallies. We did not go to their rally,” Duncan Campbell said. “And, if somebody had [a rally], and they asked us to leave, they would have.”

Weatherby said she would like to see both sides be civil, while being allowed to partake in the opposition’s events.

"We listen to each other, we hear each other out, and we listen to each other's points of view,” Weatherby said. “That is really what I hope will come of this.”

For Fayetteville will hold an event Saturday, August 15 at Teatro Scarpino at 6:30 p.m. where members of the LGBT community will share stories of how discrimination has entered their lives during a “Tales from the South” segment that will air on NPR.

Early voting for the civil rights ordinance begins Sept. 1, and election day is Sept. 8.

1 Comment

  • Mike Emery

    It’s abundantly clear that some individuals will never see their neighbors as equals in the eyes of the law, which is the basic argument of late. The immediate name calling and vitriol that always tags along in these discussions only highlights the lack of enlightenment and concern for one’s neighbors. Any student of history knows that the same types of arguments being used today against the LGBT community have been used in arguments against interracial marriage, school desegregation, and even the Equal Rights Amendment. Arguments against all these included such rhetoric as “it will ruin the sanctity of marriage” or “we will be forced to share bathrooms” or “[insert deity of choice] does not approve” and many more. Please just do the research and you will see for yourself. It is for reasons such as these that our founding fathers chose not to base our system of laws in the tenets of any faith or religion. Our separation of church and state was designed to protect both from the other, and more importantly protect the citizens of the United States from the unjust rule of a theocracy. For those who do not know, theocracy is defined as a system of government in which priests rule in the name of a god or gods. There are nations in this world currently with this system of government, [a few for example: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan] and you can see full well what happens to citizens who do not believe in the faith of the governing body. Is this really what we want for the United States? We are a nation of multiple faiths and heritage. Not all of those faiths will agree with one another, but we should all be willing and able to live in harmony under laws that are not based in a religious belief. I am honored to have friends and family who come from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. Among them are Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, Wiccan, Baptist, Mormon, and Pentacost. I am honored to call all of them friends. Do we always agree? Of course not, but we do not have the ugly hatred for each other that you see on the streets and in the news. We are all enlightened enough to appreciate the diversity in our lives and true beauty that comes along with that. I am deeply concerned at the path being taken by some in positions of religious authority to demonize their neighbors. Actions such as this could easily incite someone with limited inhibitions to act in a more physical way. I fear this will fall on some deaf ears, but I respectfully ask everyone, no matter their background, stop for a moment and put yourselves in your neighbor’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective. You might just learn something about your neighbor as well as yourself. At the end of the day, we are all human beings. We all bleed the same color blood, we all breathe the same air, we all drink the same water, and we are all deserving of dignity, respect, courtesy, and equality.

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