YADKINVILLE, N.C. — The leader of the Yadkin County Republican Party is harshly criticizing local Democrats for their support of a female pastor, LGBT citizens and immigrants. His comments came during a monthly meeting of the county Republican Party in May.

“I’ve been here three years and I’ve never spoken about them,” Yadkin Republican Chair Bodie Wingler said, according to The Yadkin Ripple. “Their party is shrinking, and they need all the help they can get.”

Wingler was responding to comments made during the Democrats’ county convention on April 13, later reported in the local newspaper. At his event, Wingler read the news article section by section while offering his own commentary.

He referred to a pastor who spoke at the Democratic event as a “lady reverend,” and went on to criticize Democratic support for LGBT equality and immigrants.

“What does LGBT mean? Why don’t they just call it what it is?” Wingler said. “They say choose your phrases carefully, and I think that sounds like car salesman to me. In the Republican Party if that is your choice let it be your choice but don’t go out there and let it be put in the paper and try to force your views on somebody else.”

He singled out local LGBt and immigrant rights activist Moises Serrano.

“This young man said he was attacked,” Wingler said. “Does anyone in this room feel like they attacked a young man because we didn’t pay for this young man’s education and give him a place to live?

“My advice to this young man is this: do what it takes to become a legal citizen, pay your taxes and do what it takes to become a responsible member of society and go re-register,” Wingler continued. “I would invite this young man to come and join our party and learn how to work for a living, and in a few years he would be OK.”

Read the original report at The Yadkin Ripple.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.