Today is election day — municipal elections in Durham, NC. It’s my hometown, and in 1989, after many years in New York City, I moved back to the Bull City. It’s a politically dark Blue spot on the map of NC, solid territory for Democrats. As with most cities in the South (though I suppose NC is seen as Mid-Atlantic, as opposed to the deep South by some), we have our fair share of bigots and know-nothings to deal with on the ballot from time to time. This time it’s no exception.

On the ballot for mayor is Pastor Sylvester Williams. He has zero chance of winning against long-serving incumbent and LGBT ally William “Bill” Bell, but he represents the flagging social conservative vote in the city, so it was noteworthy to mention this next big of business.

This hilarious card was left on Kate’s car while we were out to dinner last night:
Our city, like most in this economy, needs to focus on jobs, smart development, crime-fighting and the like, Williams’s gratuitous mention on this card that he “opposes same-sex marriage” sticks out like a sore thumb. Does this issue rise to the level of fighting gang violence, for instance? Besides, in 2009, Durham’s city council, in a non-binding resolution, voted unanimously in support of marriage equality. Perhaps Williams would like to roll that back if he takes the helm?
As we were going to early-vote on Saturday, a woman came up to us outside the precinct and handed us a flyer (no mention of the pastor’s support for the marriage amendment on it), and said “he’s a good man, the pastor.” Yeah, except for TEH HOMOs in the Bull City.
Again, this man will not be elected, but he does represent a demographic that desperately believes that their culture is under attack, even as the political winds are shifting. It was no surprise that other black pastors were tapped by white politicians like Speaker Pro Tempore Dale Folwell were tapped  to stand up in the legislature to show their support for the amendment and spew bigotry (such as Johnny “two locks don’t go together” Hunter and fellow Durham pastor,  Donald Q. Fozard, who shepherds the flock over at Durham’s Mount Zion Christian Church, who lives less than a mile from me in a ridiculous McMansion that has near the front door — I sh*t you not — a life-size white statue of a man and woman in embrace representing man-woman marriage).
Buh, bye, Williams. Try, try again…better yet, in a more compatible town.
Fun fact: When I was a little kiddo (back in the 70s), Bill Bell was a neighbor and friend of my parents, and I played with his son Billy and daughter Tiffany. My late mom was her godmother.
UPDATE (9PM ET): The smell of bigot flopsweat is in the air as anti-gay Durham, NC mayoral candidate Pastor Sylvester Williams (18%) is trounced by incumbent ally Bill Bell (82%) with 90% of precincts in. http://goo.gl/Ir2BO