Anti-gay marriage amendment sponsor calls Asheville “a cesspool of sin”

State Sen. James Forrester, a sponsor of a proposed amendment to the North Carolina constitution that would ban gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partner benefits, called Asheville a “cesspool of sin” in remarks at a Gaston church last night, according to a report in the Gaston Gazette.

Forrester, a Republican whose district includes parts of Gaston, Iredell and Lincoln counties, was trying to rally support for the amendment.

“The topic of larger cities in North Carolina was briefly discussed and how residents of those areas would vote on the amendment,” the report reads. “Forrester mentioned the Charlotte metropolitan area and Chapel Hill. He then called the city of Asheville ‘a cesspool of sin’ and said if he was a homosexual, he’d ‘target’ North Carolina to practice homosexual ‘mischief’ because there is no constitutional law prohibiting it.”

The main sponsor of the proposal in the Senate, the report also quotes Forrester as declaring, about LGBT people, that “‘We need to reach out to them and get them to change their lifestyle back to the one we accept.”

To get on the ballot for the 2012 election, the amendment needs to pass both the state House and Senate by three-fifths. The governor cannot veto such a proposal.

— David Forbes, senior news reporter


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41 thoughts on “Anti-gay marriage amendment sponsor calls Asheville “a cesspool of sin”

  1. Dionysis

    Aw, come on out of the closet and free your mind. Such repression is unhealthy.

  2. James Dye

    Asheville had the opportunity to take a public stand against Forrester’s constitutional amendment: council members Mannheimer, Bothwell, and Smith requested a vote on a resolution showing that the city favours marriage equality. As a surprise to no one, Mayor Bellamy scheduled this for the September 27th meeting, well AFTER the state legislature is likely to vote on the issue.

    Mayor Bellamy has a number of scheduling problems when it comes to equal rights for the LGBT community. She cannot find time, again this year, to proclaim October 1st Blue Ridge Pride Day. Her office maintains that, because the community already got LGBT History Month last June–albeit 15 days late–we have used up our quota. While Bellamy publicly acknowledges her debt to both the civil rights and women’s movements, she clearly feels that equality ends with her. She opposes marriage equality, and now she has her scheduling book working for her. Justice…some day, maybe.

    Asheville is fortunate to have two candidates for city council, Lael Gray and TJ Thomasson, who have proven records on LGBT and other diversity issues. Bill Russell, noticeably absent on two key votes affecting the local LGBT community, has dropped out of the race. We have a chance, with Thomasson and Gray, to elect a city council that is not only itself diverse but committed, unlike our mayor, to bringing justice to all of us.

  3. Viking

    Dang. Now we’re a Cesspool of Sin. Oh, well. One day you’re up, the next you’re down.

  4. mrs magoo

    @ James-
    very well said.
    why o why was Bellamy ever elected.

    as for James Forrester, he does indeed have discomfort with his own sexuality.

    mrs magoo

  5. Orbit DVD

    I hope that my two stores have contributed a little to Dr. Forrester’s opinion.

  6. Chimp Marmoset

    I’m not even gay, but it’s good to know I’m not the only devil-worshiper in the AVL area! BTW that’s an awesome old-man pompadour, I’m not even half that old and don’t even have the hairline to pull it off.

  7. possum

    how is it that there is something wrong with the large percentage of people that are not lgbt? Don’t they have rights?

  8. Ken Hanke

    I hope that my two stores have contributed a little to Dr. Forrester’s opinion.

    I think I can feel certain my reviews have played a role in this assessment.

  9. The Trolls Troll

    Perhaps James Forrester and Terry Bellamy could run for governor and Lt. governor in 2012.

  10. Ken Hanke

    how is it that there is something wrong with the large percentage of people that are not lgbt? Don’t they have rights?

    What rights don’t they have?

  11. Dionysis

    “how is it that there is something wrong with the large percentage of people that are not lgbt? Don’t they have rights?”

    Who’s claiming there’s “something wrong”? As for ‘rights’, surely it cannot be argued that heterosexual people have fewer rights than those who are not. And when people like Mr. Forrester call for others to “change their lifestyle back to the one we accept”, they want the ‘right’ to determine how others live, based upon their personal bias. Should that be anyone’s ‘right’, gay or straight?

    By the way, can anyone explain just what the gay “lifestyle” is? I’ve heard that a lot, but when I’ve asked those who use the phrase what it means, I’ve never gotten a cogent answer. I guess it’s like the ‘hedonist lifestyle’ or the ‘pedophile lifestyle’, or maybe the ‘lifestyle of the rich and famous’.

  12. ironhead

    Fellas and gals, you’re looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope. What better publicity for our happy little city than to have some dinosaur call us the “Cesspool of Sin”? I’m thinking at very least we should add it to the sign on I-240: “Billy Graham Freeway — and Cesspool of Sin! Welcome To Asheville!”

  13. firboy4

    Well, since my partner and I are both gay, I suppose the gay lifestyle is to go to work each day, come home, eat supper, watch TV or be on Facebook, go to bed/sleep, repeat next day. That’s our gay lifestyle.

    Occasionally we have a friend come over to visit and maybe even have supper with us, but since we don’t drink or use drugs or stay up late, I suppose we don’t fit too well into the rest of Forrester’s idea of this cesspool of sin.

    Oh! and we get along with our retired Baptist and Episcopalian minister neighbors and that semi-retired witch that lives at the end of the street. I guess she’s a witch. She owns a cat!

  14. sharpleycladd

    It’s a swimming pool, not a cesspool. Filled with beer – very good beer – not sin. He’s squinting in the picture up there: Maybe he needs Lasix surgery? There seems to be a vision problem of some kind.

  15. cwaster

    Ah the fetid smell of good ole Republico-Christian bigotry…. mmm mm. Smells just like the farmer’s pigpen I lived next to as a kid IMHO. Except the pig excrement was actually put to good use.

    How nice.

  16. Ashevegasjoe

    @dionysis “it cannot be argued that heterosexual people have fewer rights than those who are not.”

    Sarcasm? error??

  17. Kristi G

    Hailing from North Georgia, and I’ll tell anyone that Asheville is my favorite place – I’d move there if I could. The people are warm and friendly and I feel so safe there.
    Plus it it absolutely gorgeous AND fun.

  18. Dionysis

    “@dionysis “it cannot be argued that heterosexual people have fewer rights than those who are not.”

    Sarcasm? error??”

    Neither. Fact. Do you think heterosexuals have fewer ‘rights’ than homosexuals?

  19. Selene22

    Wait a minute, I moved to Asheville from New York, which was called a “cesspool of sin” ages ago! Sizewise, I think our little town really only qualifies as a “commode of sin”!

  20. Ashevegasjoe

    No, it’s just that anything can be argued, even if all the evidence points to the contrary (see anthropogenic climate change and evolution). Everyone knows wealthy heterosexual christian males are under constant persecution. It’s way easier to be gay.

  21. Ashevegasjoe

    Forrester’s hair is a cesspool of pom-ade (or maybe he’s a Dapper Dan man)

  22. bill smith

    I am engaging in ‘Homosexual Mischief’ at the moment.
    Sen. Forrester is welcome to join in.

  23. Joe Minicozzi

    I wonder if he’ll give us our dirty tax money back that was created in this $14B GDP cespool? We wouldn’t want any of our tainted money to poison the rest of the flock.

  24. Dennis Justice

    The whole world is a cesspool of sin. The Church is no sanctuary at all, in fact, it’s Satan’s favorite target!

    Funny how Sen. Apodaca, who represents Asheville and Buncombe County, has not demanded a public apology from Sen. Forrester. He is already slated to vote for this, so by default he is AGREEING with Sen. Forrester’s comments! Like in the song and poem “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” he’s making himself a part of the crime.

    It’s already illegal for gays to marry. This is nothing more than poking in the eyes of gay people for NO reason other than political resume enhancement. We should be talking about the REAL moral issue of our time which is the absurd debt at the federal, state, and local levels. This is nothing but a lazy diversion for Republican leadership. If this ends up on the ballot I hope every one of them is challenged in the primaries and I may be one of the challengers.

    We should not owe any man anything but to love one another, according to Romans 13.

    And this amendment could be overturned by the Supreme Court anyway. They legalized sodomy in NC, Texas, and everywhere else in 2003 by a 6-3 vote. Remember that’s a REPUBLICAN Supreme Court. Even Justice Thomas, who voted in dissent partly due to technical issues, said had he been in the Texas legislature, he would have voted to get rid of sodomy laws. Since there are different laws in different states, the Supremes may end up deciding this. I personally think it’s a states’ rights issue, and most of us think just outlawing gay marriage by law is enough. This overreach by the NC GOP could cost us elections and may get overturned anyway.

    Their complete lack of vision on this is reason enough why the Republicans need to be replaced in the primaries.

  25. Sneaky McFly

    Perhaps he is referring to hot tub church? Now, who wants to go swimming?

  26. Asheville Native

    It is unfortunate Sen. Forrester made his
    hateful comment about Asheville, especially at this time when we are commorating the 10th anniversity of a tragic event that resulted from hate. I find it sad that some have not learned that mean spiritedness is distructive. I am a Southern Baptist who has lived in Asheville all my life and have never had any reason to think of my beautiful city as a “cesspool of sin”.What facts does Sen. Forrester have that would lead him to make such a mean comment about Asheville?

  27. Fox

    Oh please, Senator Forrester is probably deep enough in the closet to have adventures in Narnia! The sheer magnitude of his hatred for the LGBT community is a prime example of reaction formation at its finest.

  28. VvNocvV

    Maybe he should look in the mirror and say I confess My sins. Floggings will continue until Morale Improves!

    I am proud of living in Sin Among living in Asheville. Might be in the family tree of Jesse Helms.

  29. vrede

    Speaking of cesspools of sin:
    Gastonia, NC Crime Rates & Sex Offenders Report,

    Compare the Gastonia rates per 100K to the NC average.

    Now, compare the Asheville rates per 100K to the NC average:
    Asheville, NC Crime Rates & Sex Offenders Report,

    Seems that ol’ Republican state Sen. Jim Forrester is throwing stones in a glass cesspool.

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