A North Carolina resident submitted a legal demand via email to Orange County in early June insisting that they remove any LGBT pride flags from government buildings.
According to the demand sent by Napier Fuller, who lives in Wilmington, rainbow flags and stickers are currently on display in public places such as the Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough. He argued that these displays show a government preference toward one set of beliefs and cited U.S. Supreme Court cases such as County of Allegheny vs. American Civil Liberties Union (1989) to support his claim that a government cannot support one belief over another. In his demand, Fuller claimed this ruling includes secular movements such as what he refers to as the “acceptance” of “same-sex eroticism.”
Fuller said he converted to Roman Catholicism in 2006, a church which often opposes same-sex marriage.
He said that he was asked by a judge to remove his crucifix from public display at the Orange County Court, but pride stickers were clearly visible inside the court hall. Others have filed to have the flags removed in the past, but their petitions have failed.
“They were correctly unsuccessful because the people who filed them had no standing,” Fuller said. “They were just pissed off in general, and that’s certainly not my position here.”
Fuller also sent the legal demand to officials in the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Fuller is also currently involved in another legal case. He was arrested in February 2017 on the grounds of sending harassing communications to UNC faculty and students. From late 2016 to early 2017, Fuller sent messages from an email account referring to a website "antiTRANNY.org." The emails contained images of male and female sex position diagrams, which Fuller used to argue that sex had to be between a biological man and woman. Fuller also called transgender people "demonic" and mentally ill. According to legal records, Fuller continued to send the emails even after he was issued a cease and desist order.
The case State v. Fuller will be heard by a jury in the Orange County Superior Court on August 6, 2018. Fuller filed a motion to dismiss against the case where he claimed that his actions were protected under free speech. In this motion, he used the First Amendment in his defense since he was contacting UNC employees on their state emails about state law, particularly HB2. Additionally, the motion said that North Carolina’s harassing communications statute was “unconstitutionally vague.” The prosecution in this case argues that Fuller’s speech is not protected under the First Amendment.
Fuller also sued Orange County Clerk of Court James Stanford and Superior Court Judge Rebecca Holt in April 2018 for not providing what he referred to as “reasonable accommodations” in court under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He said that he has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that the court would not inform him when his trials began so that he had enough time to take his medication. This case has been moved to U.S. District Court in New Bern. Fuller said he thinks that in the Eastern District Court, the judges and general atmosphere will be more conservative and he can get a fairer trial than in Orange County.