WEST UNION, S.C. — A small town mayor in South Carolina has come under fire for a Facebook rant in which she derided gay rights and marriage equality, and repeatedly referred to gays as “queers,” using the term in a derogatory manner.
Linda Oliver, mayor of West Union, S.C., made the remarks on Facebook earlier this week after the county clerk in nearby Buncombe County, N.C., accepted marriage license applications from 11 same-sex couples on Tuesday.
“What’s it gonna take to get these queers to realize they don’t need a piece of paper. 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 wrote on Facebook (her remarks since deleted).
Oliver later told WHNS-TV she didn’t want same-sex marriage “rammed down my throat.”
“All I can say is if people want to crucify me that’s fine. I know that following Jesus, I’m going to be crucified,” Oliver said. “I got lambasted because I quoted the bible and stuff like that on Facebook and that’s the way I feel.”
While the term “queer” has more recently been used as an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary, critics say the context in which Oliver used the term is offensive to the LGBT community.
The term is generally controversial because it was re-appropriated to an extent in the 1990s from its widespread use as an anti-gay epithet.
In the late 2000s (decade) and early 2010s, a number of internet communities (including LGBTQ Nation) began using the term “LGBTQ,” the “Q” standing for “queer,” to represent forms of sexuality that fall outside of the original LGBT framework, in order to promote awareness and acceptance of these forms of sexual identity.