NC's first transgender delegate speaks to church
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CHARLOTTE - The marquee outside Charlotte's Wedgewood Church reads “Discrimination is a sin,” underscoring the message worshipers heard inside Sunday morning.
"Discrimination is a sin. Bigotry is a sin," said Janice Covington, the first transgender person to become a political delegate for the state of North Carolina.
She said the Democratic party chose her as a representative after her years of work for equality.
"I reached out to the mainstream and the heterosexual world to let them know that I'm just a person like they are and we deserve the same as any other American."
Wedgewood pastor Rev. Chris Ayers invited Covington to speak from the pulpit.
"We at Wedgewood do not endorse political parties, we do not endorse political candidates,” he said. “But we do speak out for equality enthusiastically every chance we get."
The church was an outspoken opponent to North Carolina's marriage amendment, which voters approved this year.
“There's no way for Christians to separate their faith from their politics,” Ayers said. “God cares about everything."
Ayers said that includes marriage equality. He believes the amendment hurts the state.
"I am confident that it's just a matter of time before North Carolina and other states recognize the full equality of all people,” he said.
Covington said she hopes to hear President Obama talk about workplace equality, and she wants the president to pressure Congress to act on the issue.
She admits North Carolina has more work to do, but said she's proud to call the state home.
"People wouldn't come here unless they felt comfortable.”