Don’t Do This To a Anti-Gay Christian Preacher June 30, 2011

Don’t Do This To a Anti-Gay Christian Preacher

When an anti-gay Christian preacher is spouting his/her hate speech, there are clever ways to strike back…

There are even scandalous ways to strike back…

… but you don’t want to actually touch/harass the preacher.

Unfortunately, that’s what 74-year-old gay rights supporter Joan Parker did recently:

… Parker admits she kissed a preacher on the cheek at the event, proclaimed by the Salisbury mayor as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Day.

“He was just waving his arms and has a Bible in one hand, up and down, and screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘sodomites’ and ‘you’re going to hell,'” Parker said in a phone interview. “I thought he needed a hug. So I gave him a hug.”

At some point, Parker said, the preacher turned to yell to a man with a camera to take a picture of her. Also at some point, she kissed him. On the cheek, she says, not on the mouth.

“She might disagree with this, but it wasn’t done as a show of affection,” [police chief Rory Collins] said. “It was an unwanted touching.”

Hate to say it, but Collins is right. Parker overstepped the boundary and shouldn’t have done that.

It’s public property. Kiss your partner all you want. But don’t touch someone who’s not asking for it.

(Thanks to Edward for the link)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • JoshBA

    We learned this in elementary school. Battery is battery no matter how benign your intent. Just don’t do it.

  • Steve

    Give me a break. Slightly inappropriate? Yes. Harassment? Certainly not.

  • Love the sign in the first photo!

  • daakujc

    Old women have balls man. They do not give a fcuk.

  • TSC

    @Steve: Nope. It’s illegal. Criminal assault, as is *any* unconsented-to touching.

  • Steve

    It’s prudishness. Nothing else. There was nothing sexual about the kiss. Neither was it violent – so it can’t be assault. What you mean is battery – and even that requires the use of force if you want to make it “criminal”

  • Pete

    He should forgive her.

  • LKM

    Any touching without consent is criminal assault? Like, if I touch somebody on the arm to tell them they’ve left their wallet sitting on the train seat, that’s criminal assault? Or if somebody falls and I catch them, that’s criminal assault? Or if a kid tries to run in front of a car, and I hold the kid back, that’s criminal assault?

    Americans are crazy.

  • Shawn

    @Steve: Sexual Harassment, if it is unwanted touching, joking, etc, of any kind, it is illegal. It needs not be “sexual” to be harassment, hell it doesn’t even have to be physical. Sadly, since the preacher has no sense of humor, she has now committed a crime, it is what it is.

  • I’m not an attorney, but the great and powerful Google tells me that some of the legal definitions of battery is…

    actual, intentional and unlawful touching or striking of another person against the will of the other

    harmful or offensive contact to the plaintiff.

  • Shawn

    @C High: Wikipedia had both the crime of battery (which contains at least some injury) and Battery (tort) which doesn’t contain any injury, instead just any unwanted contact: wikipedia link

    There it is, plain as day. The problem here is that there is a “reasonable persons” test which might screw the preacher straight out in the end, it is still a correct charge to take to a court and let them decide, just hope they are practicing law and not fundamentalism there.

  • @Shawn agreed.

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    Who’d want to touch of them anyway? Eeewwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really, hugging Christians? Next thing you know, young people will be thinking it’s ok to marry them and have inter-faith babies with them. Truly it’s the sign that the pirates will come punish us for this.

    Really, every time someone even says the word Christian, I think of missionary position mating and I wanna throw up. That word should be banned from conversations with decent folk.

    Anyway, now that I have that out of my system. Randomly going up to people on the street and hugging is considered harassment. How would you react if some drunk guy was going up to every woman on the street and hugging them?

  • Anon

    Makes me wonder…could being told “you’re going to hell,” by a street preacher be considered actionable assault, since the Xtian vision of hell involves physical torment…..

  • Daniel Miles

    Worse than that, it’s sexual assault. Depending on how much body contact there was in the hug, it may even be third-degree rape. If you don’t think this is a big deal, I encourage you to figure out which of the women in your life has been the recipient of sexual assault (in our culture where men routinely feel entitled to women’s bodies, you know at least one, I promise) and ask one how she feels about someone hugging her against her will.

    I’m a little surprised it was a woman who did it, but that doesn’t change any of the relevant facts.

  • The important thing to realize here is that this sort of thing is part of the whole reason they’re doing it. They want to get somebody to try to stop them, so they can sue that person. That’s their whole goal.

    Don’t give in. Ignore them. Works much better.

  • @Steve,
    Former law enforcement here.
    It’s called simple assault, at least in Michigan.
    You may not like it, but that’s what it is.
    Laws that cover behavior like this are in place for a very good reason.
    Unwanted or unsolicited touching is illegal.
    Period. It doesn’t have to be sexual.

  • Steve

    As said: American prudishness. It’s part of the whole “personal space” thing (which tends to be larger in the US), but that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous

  • Mike

    I find all the legal definitions amusing. The thing is when you’re 74, who cares?…I applaud the woman for making a statement.

    I don’t condone it as a general course of action for younger folks given the possible punishments, but I see nothing wrong with it.

  • Beryl

    Anyone look at the North Carolina Criminal/Penal Code? That’s the only way to know what laws she could be charged with breaking. Criminal laws vary a great deal from state to state. It’s pretty typical for criminal battery to require an unconsented-to touching that (1) causes injury or (2) would be offensive to a reasonable person. Lesser degree sexual offenses usually require that the act be done for the actor’s sexual gratification. Sexual harassment is typically a concept in civil employment law, and not a criminal law concept at all. However, until you look at the relevant statutes for the state in question, you don’t know.

    Don’t count on the media to get the law right either.

  • Tyris

    Salisbury is my home town, I heard all about this when it was going on. Even heard about the kiss afterward from my mom.

  • GentleGiant

    We need more people hugging!

  • JJR


    “…if I touch somebody on the arm to tell them they’ve left their wallet sitting on the train seat, that’s criminal assault?”

    The recipient of such a touch is unlikely to press charges or lodge a criminal complaint with law enforcement. And even if they did, a jury would probably not agree with them.

    “…Or if somebody falls and I catch them, that’s criminal assault?”


    “…Or if a kid tries to run in front of a car, and I hold the kid back, that’s criminal assault?”

    No, the kid’s parents will probably thank you, if they saw it happen but were unable to act themselves…pressing assault charges won’t even cross their minds.

    But planting an unwanted smooch on someone?

    Even liberal-minded me, who has served on a jury as foreman before (just last year in fact, for an assault on a public official case), would probably vote guilty on the assault charge (though argue for a “slap-on-wrist” level of rebuke on the punishment phase, just enough to send the message “you dummy, don’t do that.”).

  • GentleGiant

    How can a Christian condemn someone for holding to, if you ask them, their own sacred vows of “Love thy neighbour” and “Do unto others…” – isn’t that hypocrisy at its finest?

  • Richard P.

    Ah GentleGiant your missing the point. He is a christian, you don’t expect them to actually live what they preach.

  • Kenny

    This whole blog entry is a non-story. She pecked him on the cheek… big whoop.

  • Dammit, strange women don’t come up to me and kiss me, not even 74 year old ones. Maybe I should get me one of them thar Bibles.

  • I don’t like any unwanted touching. I find it creepy. Keep hands, feet, lips, and other objects to yourself.

  • Andrew

    Steve, the idea that unwanted touching constitutes battery comes from English common law.

  • Dark Jaguar


    I disagree. This isn’t “prudishness”. This is a simple matter of consent to being touched. If people can’t guarantee the security of their own body, what can they depend on? I am a little biased here. I really shy away from being touched. Prudishness would be us complaining about a CONSENTING couple hugging in public. There I’d be with you. However, most people ASK if it’s okay before planting a hug on someone, and when I decline they understand. Saying she’s over 70 doesn’t really excuse anything. She’s not a dog that can’t understand her actions, she’s a human being and should be held to the same standard as everyone else.

    This isn’t about prudeness, it’s about consent, plain as day. Coming up with those ridiculous examples is silly. Not only does the legal system account for them, they account for other silly examples you didn’t think of, like a crowded elevator, train, or back seat of a car (in all those cases, it can’t reasonably be helped). However, if someone tries to “take advantage” of those situations and gropes someone in those areas, then that is certainly crossing the line. Maybe you think getting upset at “groping” is prudish too, that victims should take it as a compliment?

    Personal space actually is pretty important to a lot of people. It goes right in hand with the idea that we own our own bodies. How close do you normally stand when you talk to someone? Like video game close, right up in their face so you can be sure the “action button” is highlighted?

    No matter, I have the same opinion of this as I do of that whole glitter incident. Be as offensive as you want, just don’t violate someone’s personal space to do it. We all learn this as a kid here, the very first moment our parents tell us to “cut it out” in the back seat when we do the “I’m not touching you” game of waving our hands really close to a sibling’s face to annoy them.

    Basically, it’s not the toucher’s call whether the touching is inappropriate, it’s the person being touched.

  • Don’t hug me. I’ll punch you.

  • ThatOtherGuy

    Really? For real? It’s an old lady. It’s someone’s grandma. A kiss from an old lady who says “I thought he looked like he needed a hug” is assault now? REALLY guys?

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