RALEIGH — It seems that Evan Garris, a North Carolina State University WKNC 88.1 newscaster, has put the LGBT community on notice to step out of their complacency and continue to work for the rights of their brothers and sisters.

In a statement that hit the airwaves on Aug. 31 and promoted by Pam Spaulding’s PamsHouseBlend.com, he said that “silence on gay rights is the lowest form of cowardice.”

What set him off was an article in the Denver Post which detailed how Focus on the Family (FOF), an anti-gay Christian lobby, was working hard at making sure that anti-bullying legislation was not passed by state legislatures.

He felt that the FOF stand was counter to what the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, deemed a “public health crisis in our schools.”

His viewpoint is based upon his observation that post-Stonewall activism has waned, people give money to causes, but not of themselves.

He further said, “there are powerful people that want to make it [sexual orientation] their business, and I’ll be damned if I let them treat me differently because of it. It’s exactly for this reason that those of you who sympathize must grow a backbone and voice your concern loudly and in public at every opportunity. When livelihoods are at stake, political quietism is the lowest form of cowardice. And to those of you who are still in the closet and too afraid to open the door — you owe it to your community, you owe it to me, and you owe it to yourself to get the hell out and start fighting for your dignity.”

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.