Local News

Gay rights group sends 'Froot Loops' boxes to N.C. lawmaker

Posted October 14, 2010
Updated October 15, 2010

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A gay rights group is making a point about comments from a North Carolina House member while providing assistance to people with HIV.

Equality North Carolina carried 279 empty miniature boxes of “Froot Loops” cereal Thursday to the office of Rep. Larry Brown in Raleigh.

The number equates to messages the group received from people after a private e-mail by the Forsyth County Republican surfaced last week that contained gay slurs.

The messages accompany the boxes, while the unopened packages of cereal will go to Triad Health Project, a nonprofit in Brown’s region of the state that provides support and food to low-income HIV patients.

“By poking fun at his actions, we hope to diminish the power of his hateful words and also call attention to what he’s done,” Equality NC executive director Ian Palmquist said at a news conference Thursday morning. “But we recognize his actions are serious, and we hope that he does read these really powerful, personal messages that are coming from North Carolinians.”

The boxes and messages were left with the General Assembly's security office for delivery to Brown when he returns to his office, police Chief Jeff Weaver said.

Cereal boxes sent in response to gay slurs Cereal boxes sent in response to gay slurs

In the Sept. 27 e-mail to 60 other lawmakers, Brown responded to news that House Speaker Joe Hackney would receive an award from Equality NC by referring to “queers” and writing he expected “a couple legislative fruitloops” at the Nov. 13 ceremony.

The comments drew ire from Equality NC and others and drew national attention, even a joke on “Saturday Night Live.”

Palmquist said “hundreds of people were disgusted” by Brown’s comment and that his words could not go unchallenged.

“In this day and age, we ought to be above calling people names and acting childish,” wrote Chris, of Raleigh, in a message accompanying one of the cereal boxes. “Everyone deserves respect, regardless of whether you can relate to them or not.”

Despite calls by Equality NC for a public apology, Brown has not addressed the e-mail.

House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, has called the language in Brown’s e-mail “unfortunate,” and said he wrote to Brown that he doesn’t encourage the language in public or private.

"I don't tell people what to say. He said what he said," Stam said. "I don't use that language. It's not appropriate, but it's not a news story."

But Palmquist disagrees.

“When an elected official, there to represent all of the people in his district, (who) is using really bigoted, offensive language about people he represents, I think it’s appropriate to call him out on that,” Palmquist said.

190 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • littleriver69 Oct 15, 2010

    Sorry they missed my post. Must not have been exceptable to GOLO.

  • littleriver69 Oct 15, 2010

    What a bunch of bigoted posts. Those who think this action silly would be up in arms if something larger were done. It's a statement people, calling an elected official out on his bigotry. Only 279 because they set a time limit so they'd go ahead and get it done.

    Can any of you actually say how it is that gay people try to force you into anything? No. Following women & people of color, just another group trying to have equal rights under the law.

    mshood, tarheelfan, givemeno1/4, your comments are some of the most hateful and judgmental, & I'm sure you think you follow the teachings of Jesus. Take inventory of your own house, you don't.

    In fact, there are & have always been cultures that accept people no matter their sexual orientation. Which, hello, is not choice. But being hateful is a choice. Really, no one wants your approval or acceptance. Just keep your hate to yourself, and allow everyone equality under the law. We ARE all the same humans whether or not you choose to see it.

  • firefly5 Oct 15, 2010

    mom11, one of the greatest tragedies of our time is people hating someone else because they're different than you. Think of the bloodshed for this. It's YOU and your ilk who reduce the issue to who people sleep with! Don't you see that? ALL PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE ENTITLED TO EQUAL PROTECTION, EQUAL ACCESS, EQUAL RIGHTS UNDER LAW. Period. It's those who judge and hate others who would have it be different.

    Heteros argue that gays CHOOSE, yet did the heteros choose? Of course not-it's innate. Heteros want gays to stop being gay-ok, who is cramming whose "lifestyle" down whose throat? Same for the scripture-quoters. Just let people live free from oppression, you be who YOU are, let everyone be who THEY are, & KEEP YOUR HATE TO YOURSELF.

    And no, it's not about words. It's about beatings, murders, and unchecked discrimination. It's about people still THINKING it's ok to call others names, not the names themselves.

    YOU grow up. Children call names, are mean. Not wise adults.

  • Eduardo1 Oct 15, 2010

    sherlock, freedom of speech does not include PC

  • firefly5 Oct 15, 2010

    What a bunch of bigoted posts. Those who think this action silly would be up in arms if something larger were done. It's a statement people, calling an elected official out on his bigotry. Only 279 because they set a time limit so they'd go ahead and get it done.

    Can any of you actually say how it is that gay people try to force you into anything? No. Following women & people of color, just another group trying to have equal rights under the law.

    mshood, tarheelfan, givemeno1/4, your comments are some of the most hateful and judgmental, & I'm sure you think you follow the teachings of Jesus. Take inventory of your own house, you don't.

    In fact, there are & have always been cultures that accept people no matter their sexual orientation. Which, hello, is not choice. But being hateful is a choice. Really, no one wants your approval or acceptance. Just keep your hate to yourself, and allow everyone equality under the law. We ARE all the same humans whether or not you choose to see it.

  • westoflyra Oct 15, 2010

    I like Fruit Loops cereal. Somebody send a box to me.

  • Sherlock Oct 15, 2010

    Just goes to show how smart this group is. This guy has the right to freedom of speech, but this group does not want him to have that, yet they want all the freedoms coming to them. This group should present a public apology for doing this to him. If I lived it the area I would vote for him.

  • br549znc Oct 15, 2010

    Froot Loops sent by Fruitloops. Ah, the stupidity of it all.

  • u stand corrected Oct 15, 2010

    Make that 4 stories WRAL

  • u stand corrected Oct 15, 2010

    Wow this story has been going since yesterday! WRAL like 3 stories at once about gays? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

More...