Permission to Hate

People in 50 NC counties tell stories of LGBTQ intimidation, discrimination

Christie Vanhoy and Rachel Irby came to Charlotte in August for the Pride parade, and so did a street preacher who repeatedly decried LGBTQ residents as “perverts” and “enemies of God” and “abominations.”
Christie Vanhoy and Rachel Irby came to Charlotte in August for the Pride parade, and so did a street preacher who repeatedly decried LGBTQ residents as “perverts” and “enemies of God” and “abominations.” eleland@charlotteobserver.com

Read “Permission to Hate” and read through the stories of people across North Carolina:

Alamance: Police say attacker shot man with BB gun because of his sexual orientation.

Alexander: Kids endangered by religious teachings that fuel LGBTQ hatred, furniture exec says.

Anson: Transgender girl challenged for bathroom she chose, makeup she wears.

Ashe (VIDEO): When flags weren’t at half-staff after Orlando shootings, retired football coach lowered them.

Beaufort: Since HB2, transgender man says, he’s been accused of helping pedophiles get in bathrooms.

Buncombe: Men walking back to hotel assaulted in ‘hate crime.'

Burke: LGBT-Alliance president says he was threatened over Pride festival.

Catawba: Realtor says he does business with LGBTQ clients rejected by others.

Chowan: Man believes homosexuality is an ‘abomination,’ puts his message on a billboard.

Cleveland: Protesters interrupted church service after ‘Pride Picnic.’

Columbus: 'Beat the gay’ out of your brother, mother told one son.

Craven: ‘Open your eyes before it’s too late,’ restaurant owner told gay couple in note.

Cumberland: Employer said derogatory, humiliating things to transgender woman, according to EEOC suit.

Davidson: Two women say they were accused by an attendant of being in wrong bathroom at I-85 stop.

Durham: Duke University student targeted with death threat.

Edgecombe: Mother became activist to protect son, spur discussion about ‘growing up gay in the South.’

Forsyth: Condemnation by church leader triggered son’s eventual suicide, mother says.

Franklin: At 68, transgender man nervous for first time to use public bathroom.

Gaston: Restaurant was to host PFLAG fundraiser. Then owner discovered what initials stood for.

Guilford (VIDEO): Gay business owner says he’s lost customers, been berated for speaking out.

Harnett: Called ‘lesbian witch,’ she had mailbox smashed, trash dumped in yard.

Haywood: Man found 'Die Fag' spray-painted on his car.

Johnston (VIDEO): After man maligned District 2 candidate, transgender woman told him – I’m the candidate.

Lee: School requires families, children to sign pledge to avoid ‘sinfulness’ of homosexuality.

Lincoln: Poster for high school Gay Straight Alliance club ripped down, replaced with 'Straights Only' sign.

Mecklenburg: Charlotte chef walking to her car after work is taunted, physically assaulted.

Mitchell: Steer kids away from Gay Straight Alliance candy handout on Halloween, email told parents.

Moore: Parents sought 'no-contact' order for kids, fearing influence to 'become gay,' said court advocate.

New Hanover: When did school allow ‘faggots to be role models?’ UNC Wilmington bulletin board comment asked.

Orange (VIDEO): After HB2 passed, rainbow flags at church were set on fire.

Pamlico: Church chose not to renew Boy Scouts charter after vote to allow gay members.

Pasquotank: After same-sex marriage ban overturned, magistrate refused to marry gay couple.

Person: Join KKK, stand up against transgender people and support HB2, flier suggested.

Pitt: High school transgender male got threats, fears getting beaten up in bathroom.

Polk: Anti-HB2 billboard sparked war of words.

Richmond: Gay couple stopped for ice cream. Owner told them to stop holding hands.

Robeson: Gay student couple complains minister says they are going to hell.

Rowan: At 11, boy had faced years of bullying for ‘being gay.’ Then it became too much.

Rutherford (VIDEO): Church told woman she had sinned by marrying another woman – and should repent.

Sampson: At community college, flier warned gay people are going to hell.

Scotland: Print shops wouldn't do wedding invitations for female couple.

Stanly: Safe Zone director heard students talk about discrimination. Then he experienced it.

Transylvania: After HB2, restaurant's move to unisex bathrooms lost - and gained - customers.

Union: Teenager struggled with gender identity. Then bullying got worse.

Wake: Pedophilia and bestiality are sexual orientations, Republican lawmaker suggested.

Watauga: Women said attack was a hate crime; police disagreed.

Wilkes: Man says he lobbied for 3 days until county lowered flags after Orlando shooting.

Wilson: Senator Newton urged crowd to 'keep our state straight.'

Yadkin: Board member criticized after backing gay student's right to bring boyfriend to prom.

Yancey (VIDEO): Snub at store causes man to recall long ago days of being called names, bullied.

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