Fringe Factor

Fringe Factor: South Carolina Mayor Won’t Apologize for Anti-Gay Rant

An Alabama state legislator wants to castrate child molesters and more from the fringe this week. By Caitlin Dickson.

South Carolina Mayor Doesn’t Want Gay Marriage ‘Rammed Down My Throat’

A North Carolina county official decided this week to accept marriage applications from same-sex couples, despite the state’s gay marriage ban, saying he didn’t find it fair to deny marriage licenses to “upstanding citizens.” The move, predictably, received mixed reactions, but it got Linda Oliver particularly riled up. “What’s it gonna take these queers to realize they don’t need a piece of paper,” the West Union, South Carolina, mayor wrote in a Facebook post that was not deleted quickly enough to avoid screenshots. “God will not bless their union because he plainly speaks against queers in the Bible. Want to cover your queer with insurance? Buy a policy. Want your queer to get your stuff when you die? Make a will?” Oliver’s post, unsurprisingly, was not well received by the LGBT community, and a retaliatory “Recall West Union SC Mayor Linda Oliver” Facebook group has already been created. But Oliver saw the blowback coming and she doesn’t really care. “All I can say is if people want to crucify me, that’s fine,” she told Fox Carolina. “I don’t want [gay marriage] rammed down my throat.”

Alabama: Let’s Castrate Child Molesters

It’s probably safe to assume that a harsh punishment for child molesters is something everyone can agree on. But Alabama state Rep. Steve Hurst may be taking things a bit too far. For the second time, the Republican from Munford is proposing a bill mandating that child molesters whose victims were under age 12 be castrated before being released from prison and pay for the operation. Hurst sought to get the castration bill passed during the last legislative session but failed. His legislation doesn’t specify what kind of castration process the bill would mandate, but as of last year at least nine U.S. states had sex offender laws that include chemical castration—the process of administering medication that removes a person’s sex drive and ability to perform sexual acts. Still, it’s unclear how frequently that form of punishment is actually used. Amnesty International has called the use of chemical castration “inhuman treatment.”

Florida KKK Fights to Keep Its History Alive

The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are fighting an effort to change the name of a Jacksonville, Florida, high school named after Nathan B. Forrest, a KKK grand wizard. The school’s name, as well as its mascot, the Confederate Rebel, were the result of a 1959 act of defiance by school administrators against school integration. Now that it’s 2013, Jacksonville residents feel the name is a bit outdated, to say the least, and want it changed. More than 150,000 people have signed a petition, but back in 2008, the board members—the only people with any real say in the matter—voted 5-2 against changing the school’s name. The Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK have sent letters to each member of the board, insisting that Forrest was a “valiant name of honor” and the KKK is “a group of vigilance to protect defenseless Southerners from criminal activities perpetrated against them by Yankee carpet baggers, scalawags, and many bestial blacks and other criminal elements out for revenge or just taking part in criminal mischief.”

Georgia: Religious Schools Get Taxpayer Money, Expel Gay Students

An article in the latest issue of Rolling Stone reports on religious schools in Georgia that are taking advantage of legislation that provides private schools with public funds in exchange for accepting low-income students and are expelling gay students. Simply for being gay, students at such schools not only have faced expulsion but also public humiliation—being forced to out themselves in front of the student body. Some schools even require students or parents to sign pledges against identifying with homosexuality, equating being gay with other “immoral acts” such as cheating or stealing. At least 115 private schools with connections to Student Scholarship Organizations, which funnel taxpayer dollars to private schools, have explicitly anti-gay policies.

Pat Buchanan: Secession Is Imminent

Pat Buchanan is fairly certain that the United States and other nations are bound to break apart, as the former republics of the USSR did from “that prison house of nations.” In a column on The American Conservative this week, the notoriously outrageous commentator wrote that ethnicity, culture, history, language and economics are pulling countries apart. In the U.S., specifically, “While many Red State Americans are moving away from Blue State America, seeking kindred souls among whom to live, those who love where they live but not those who rule them are seeking to secede.” While Buchanan points to “gun control, high taxes, energy policy, homosexual marriage and immigration” as the issues driving secession movements in states such as Maryland, he warns, “If America does not get its fiscal house in order, and another Great Recession hits or our elites dragoon us into an imperial war, we will likely hear more of such talk.”