The Rev. Ray McKinnon is the pastor of South Tryon Community United Methodist Church. He lives with his wife and three sons in Charlotte. “I preach that, as a part of our Christian faith, we need to love our neighbors as ourselves,” he wrote in The Charlotte Post. “That means all our neighbors, including those who are LGBTQ. Unfortunately our state and this country don’t fully hold the LGBTQ community in the same regard in the way that it should – not yet anyway.”
Rev. McKinnon wasn’t always a supporter though. He said it took some time to open his mind and his heart to the challenges facing LGBTQ folks in North Carolina.
“To be honest, I was apathetic about LGBTQ people for many years,” he said. “Raised in a conservative Baptist home, I didn’t look beyond the scripture as it was presented to me. After someone close to me came out – one of the most loving, caring Christians I knew – I did some soul -searching. I know now that we’re all God’s children. All North Carolinians are children of God, and all deserve to be treated with love and kindness – regardless of who they love or their gender identity.