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.