By Wade Rawlins
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - A North Carolina group said it plans to hold a public protest on Sunday to denounce a Baptist minister's anti-gay and lesbian sermon that has drawn hundreds of thousands of views on the Internet.
Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina told his congregation during a May 13 sermon that the Bible and God opposed homosexuality and that gay and lesbian people should be put in concentration camps.
"Build a great big large fence 50 or 100 miles long," Worley said according to the video posted on YouTube. "Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can't get out. You know what, in a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce."
The Anti-Defamation League, which fights hatred, prejudice and bigotry, condemned Worley's statements.
"Pastor Worley's videotaped remarks are deplorable, inexcusable and incompatible with the tenets of his faith," said David Freidman, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Washington, D.C. "Pastor Worley owes the LGBT community and the people of Maiden, North Carolina a swift and unequivocal apology."
Phone calls to the church for comment from Worley were not returned.
Christopher Brook, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, said the church had posted the entire sermon on its website for a few days, and the Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate had grabbed the clip and posted it on YouTube. The clip had been viewed 689,000 times by Thursday.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a religious liberty watchdog group, has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, asking that it investigate the tax exempt status of Providence Road Baptist Church.
"Pastor Worley's vicious and mean-spirited assault on gays and lesbians is bad enough," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "His pulpit command that people not vote for President Obama is a violation of federal tax law. I urge the IRS to act swiftly to investigate the matter."
In the sermon, Worley denounces gay marriage and President Barack Obama's support for it. Obama announced his support for gay marriage on May 9. Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney opposes same sex marriage.
During the sermon, Worley referred to "our president getting up and saying that it was all right for two women to marry or two men to marry," and added, "I was disappointed bad. The Bible is against it, God is against and I'm against it."
Later in the sermon, Worley says, "Somebody said, ‘Who are you going to vote for?' I ain't going to vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover. You said, ‘Did you mean to say that?' You better believe I did."
Lynn said that Worley's statements are a clear violation of federal law, which prohibits all non-profit groups from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates.
The demonstration against Worley's comments is scheduled for Sunday morning at the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton, North Carolina, according to an invitation posed on the Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate Facebook page.
(Edited by Greg McCune)