More than 100 citizens filled the lawn in front of the Rockingham County Governmental Center this week to show support and encourage Rockingham County Commissioners to go on record to support of the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act – commonly known as House Bill 2.

Pastors & Rockingham County Citizens Rally in Support of HB2

Diane Parnell Rockingham County GOP Chair

Diane Parnell, Chair of the Rockingham County GOP, welcomes citizens to the HB2 Rally

Diane Parnell, chair of the Rockingham County GOP, said the law has become more of a moral issue than a political one, and her party reached out to ministers for support – who showed up to the rally in force. Tom Puryear of Penn Memorial Baptist, Roy Handy of Faith Bible Baptist, Jerry Carter of Reidsville Baptist, Edward Long of True Vine Baptist, and Heath Lloyd of Fairview Baptist were just a few of the pastors who turned up at the rally. A few of them spoke later during a public comments period at the commissioners’ meeting, held before a standing-room-only crowd.

More than a dozen citizens spoke out in favor of the commissioners’ support of the law, urging the board to protect the safety and comfort level of students, children and women; to not be intimidated; to vote for common sense; to think of the local economy; and to uphold their oaths to abide by the law.

Tom Schoolfield said he could not find any true civil rights violations in HB2. “Is it right for the federal government to blackmail us and not support our school system?”

“Charlotte should not be able to tell a business in Rockingham County what to do,” said a statement by N.C. Rep. Kyle Hall, read by Doug Isley in his absence.

Commissioner Travis thanked the pastors for getting involved in politics, and urged them to get their congregations involved. “You’re going to hear two sides of the story… you have to find the truth,” he said. “This is an issue that will affect everything about Rockingham County. Common sense will prevail. It always will.”

The board voted 4-1 to sign the resolution in support of the legislation. Commissioner Keith Duncan voted against it. In April, the Randolph County Board of Commissioners also voted for their own resolution to support the bill.