"I am an unequivocal supporter of gay marriage, gay adoption, and equal employment rights..."
What’s going on with Nicholas Sparks you ask? We’ve got you covered…
For many of us, Nicholas Sparks was a huge part of our teen years.
With titles like The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, The Last Song, Dear John and dozens of other titles, it’s likely you’ve read at least one of his books over the years. If not, you’ve certainly seen one of his many film adaptations.
So we were pretty disappointed to see some anti-LGBTQ+ comments resurface from emails he sent in 2013.
The author is co-founder of the Epiphany School of Global Studies in North Carolina, where he allegedly tried to ban an LGBT club.
Since 2014 he’s been involved in a legal battle against the school’s former headmaster and CEO, Saul Benjamin over incidents of harassment, racism, and homophobia.
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Nicholas denied the claims, but in emails obtained from the Daily Beast he appears to have an anti-LGBT stance.
At one point he allegedly criticised the former headmaster for “what some perceive as an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted.”
After the article was published he took to Facebook to deny the claims once again saying:
“Epiphany is and remains a place where students and faculty of any race, belief, religion, background or orientation should feel welcome. My commitment to these values, as well as Epiphany’s commitment to these values, have been and remain constant.”
Days later, Nicholas who has a new book to promote has apologised at length about the emails and comments.
“As someone who has spent the better part of my life as a writer who understands the power of words, I regret and apologize that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community, including my friends and colleagues in that community,” he said.
He said that he founded his school “anchored in the commandment to love God and your neighbor as you love yourself.” and explained that he couldn’t go into details about her emails due to the lawsuit that is ongoing.
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“I believe in the school’s founding principle of loving God and thy neighbor as thyself, and that includes members of the LGBTQ community. I believe in and unreservedly support the principle that all individuals should be free to love, marry and have children with the person they choose, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation,” he added.
“This is and has always been a core value of mine. I am an unequivocal supporter of gay marriage, gay adoption, and equal employment rights and would never want to discourage any young person or adult from embracing who they are.”
Going into more detail about the wording of his emails he said: “When in one of my emails I used language such as “there will never be an LGBT club” at Epiphany, l was responding heatedly to how the headmaster had gone about initiating this club – like most schools, Epiphany has procedures and policies for establishing any student club. My concern was that if a club were to be founded, it be done in a thoughtful, transparent manner with the knowledge of faculty, students and parents – not in secret, and not in a way that felt exceptional. I only wish I had used those exact words.
“Similarly, when I referred to a prior headmaster addressing the presence of gay students “quietly and wonderfully,” I meant that he supported them in a straightforward, unambiguous way – NOT that he in any way encouraged students to be silent about their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
He concluded by saying: “It’s never been my intent to be unresponsive to the needs of the LGBTQ or any minority community. In fact, the opposite is true, and I trust my actions moving forward will confirm that.”