- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Parents of graduating students at a North Carolina high school are speaking out after a pastor reportedly made anti-gay comments during a speech Sunday at the school’s baccalaureate service.

Parents told a local CBS affiliate that Pastor Scott Carpenter told students graduating from Kings Mountain High School in Cleveland County that they would go to hell if they were gay.

“Bullying doesn’t have to happen from the back hallway of a school or a back parking lot. It can happen from the pulpit, it can happen from the stage,” one parent, Chuck Wilson, told CBS.

Mr. Carpenter said he has no regrets delivering his message.

“Do I hate anybody? Absolutely not. I just love them too much not to tell them the truth,” he said. “Nobody got bashed or anything. All I did was simply speak biblical truth. … The number-one audience that I have to please is God.”

Mr. Wilson said dozens of parents and students were offended by the anti-gay message, but Mr. Carpenter is standing firm.

“Was I trying to be mean-spirited? Absolutely not. Was I trying to hurt somebody’s feelings? Absolutely not. I was simply had to do what I had to do as a Christian minister,” he told CBS.

The service was optional for students but Mr. Wilson said that doesn’t matter.

“It’s a public school. There are children here. I think there should be some level of responsibility of the speaker coming in to not take advantage of a captive audience,” he said.

Cleveland County Schools said it had no part in the selection of baccalaureate speakers, which was left up to religious leaders in the community. The district said it may become more involved in the selection process in the future, CBS reported.

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