Romance writer Nicholas Sparks issued an apology on Monday for remarks he made in 2013 opposing the formation of an LGBT club at his Christian school.
In an email published last week by the Daily Beast, Sparks faulted Saul Benjamin, who was then the headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, for pushing an “agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted.” Sparks forbade Benjamin from allowing the LGBT club, and criticized him in harsh terms for focusing on diversity and the school’s anti-discrimination policy.
“As someone who has spent the better part of my life as a writer who understands the power of words, I regret and apologize that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community, including my friends and colleagues in that community,” Sparks said in a statement on Monday.
In the statement, Sparks said he did not intend to ban an LGBT club outright — but rather to ensure that any club was formed in accordance with the school’s procedures.
“When in one of my emails I used language such as ‘there will never be an LGBT club’ at Epiphany, I was responding heatedly to how the headmaster had gone about initiating this club — like most schools, Epiphany has procedures and policies for establishing any student club,” he said. “My concern was that if a club were to be founded, it be done in a thoughtful, transparent manner with the knowledge of faculty, students and parents — not in secret, and not in a way that felt exceptional. I only wish I had used those exact words.”
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