A Gay Couple, After Receiving Threats, ‘fear for their lives’

Suspicious Fire Destroys Their Building

A gay couple’s building has been burned down, leaving them scared for their lives.

Police in Pageland, South Carolina have called the fire which destroyed Neil and Tim Griffin’s 3,000-square foot structure “suspicious” after the pair reported receiving threats beforehand.

The building was still being constructed, and did not yet have power.

The married couple woke up smelling smoke around 2am on Friday – but it was already too late.

“By the time the fire department got here, the building was 80 percent, 90 percent gone,” Tim told local station WSOC TV Channel 9. “It went down just like that.”

The Griffins were planning to use the building, which sat just a few feet away from their home, for their annual Miss Pageland pageant.

The pageant is run by the Griffin Scholarship Foundation, which is part of the official Miss United States organization and does charitable work in the community.

After seeing thousands of dollars of pageant supplies like dresses burnt up during Thursday night’s fire, they accused people of trying to run them out of town.

Writing on Facebook, Tim said: “I am so tired and beat, but have not been able to close my eyes and sleep.”

He blamed this on “the sheer fear that there are people out there still posting HATE and still fanning the flames of the evil hate that is destroying this town, that I fear our home being set on fire with us and the fur babies inside.

“This fear is real and justified.”

Last night, he said that he and Neil would be missing a local high school’s Homecoming event for the first time since the couple moved to Pageland, because of this fear.

“I will not be attending tonight due to the recent discovery of threats of bodily harm,” he wrote.

“We have been instructed by [law enforcement] to be cautious, vigilant, and aware of our surroundings.

“I have lived through some of the most hateful anti-gay times here in America, but I have never feared for my home, my pets and my life, but now…I am scared to be in my own home and in the community that I LOVE!!!”

In a powerful Facebook post, Neil claimed locals had been working to get them to leave for years, through the following increasingly horrific actions:

“Since moving to Pageland, we’ve tried to get people to understand the hate directed at us by a small but vicious group.

“No one has taken it seriously, not when my Mom’s house was vandalized and burned down. Not when we were forced out of First Baptist Church.

“Not when someone shot at us at 311 McGregor. Not after being called fags and attacked on Main Street. Not after Tim’s Mercedes was totally destroyed.

“Not after shrubs and trees were ripped out of our yard and thrown in the street. Not after a hate notice was spread all over Pageland begging people not to let Pageland become a ‘fag town’ with our picture on it.

“Not after being threatened repeatedly by ‘upstanding’ citizens. Not after people have stated to anyone who would listen they were going to run us out of town.

“Not after a lunatic sent multiple hate letters to the sheriff, school board, superintendent, newspapers, town council, chamber of commerce, Sec. of State, Attorney General, and God knows who else.

“Not after threatening FB posts and private messages. Not after all these things and more has anyone stepped up and taken us seriously. Well, fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

But while Neil spoke in a determined fashion, Tim sounded utterly resigned.

“We’re defeated,” he told Channel 9. “We’ll go. We’re done.”

Here is their story and the news video:…/receiving-threats-gay-couple…/


About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (, personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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