Words: Steve Brown
‘The Notebook’ author Nicholas Sparks has apologised for past emails where he was accused of being homophobic.
Back in 2006, the romance writer co-founded a prep, faith-based school in North Carolina called the Epiphany School of Global Studies but since 2014, he has been involved in a lawsuit with the academy’s former headmaster, Saul Benjamin.
In the complaint, Benjamin’s attorneys wrote: “Sparks and members of the Board unapologetically marginalised, bullied and harassed members of the School community whole religious views and/or identities did not conform to their religiously driven, bigoted pre-conceptions.”
Emails obtained by The Daily Beast show that Sparks repeatedly taking issue with Benjamin’s attempts to make the school inclusive to all faiths, races and sexualities.
In one of his emails, Sparks hit back at the former headmaster for ‘what some perceive as an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted’.
But now, in a lengthy Facebook post, Sparks has apologised for his comments.
Sparks said: “As someone who has spent the better part of my life as a writer who understands the power of words, I regret and apologise that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community, including my friends and colleagues in that community.”
He also went on to say he has always been an ‘unequivocal supporter for gay marriage, gay adopted and equal employment rights’.
“I believe in the school’s founding principle of loving God and thy neighbour as thyself, and that includes members of the LGBTQ community,” he continued.
“I believe in and unreservedly support the principle that all individuals should be free to love, marry and have children with the person they choose, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
“This is and has always been a core value of mine. I am an unequivocal supporter of gay marriage, gay adoption, and equal employment rights and would never want to discourage any young person or adult from embracing who they are.”