The leader of a local Wiccan church in Bridgeton, North Carolina, claims he was discriminated against when trying to purchase a lottery ticket, according to local media reports.
An employee at Fisher Fuel Mart in Bridgeton was disciplined and the convenience store was reprimanded after practicing Wiccan Douglas Helvie filed a complaint, the New Bern Sun Journal reports. Helvie waved a pentagram on his necklace over various lottery tickets to determine which one to buy, he told the Sun Journal.
Helvie says he has deployed this tactic numerous times in the past when purchasing lottery tickets with no issue. This time, however, the Fisher Fuel Mart employee reportedly refused to sell him the ticket. The employee eventually agreed to the sale on the condition that Helvie leave the store after the purchase and no longer practice witchcraft on the premises, the Sun Journal reported. (RELATED: Small Town Residents Oppose Pagan Whites-Only Nordic Heritage Church)
The incident was investigated and the North Carolina Lottery Commission (NCLC) “reminded store management and the employee involved in the incident of the requirement to comply with all anti-discrimination laws,” NCLC Communications Director Van Denton told the Sun Journal. The store could lose their license to sell lottery tickets with any further failure to comply, he added.
In NC, stores apparently can’t refuse to sell you a lottery ticket just because you’re waving around a pentagram https://t.co/XhnlQAdCgE
— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) October 16, 2020
Helvie said this isn’t enough. He told the Sun Journal he’s waiting to hear back from the American Civil Liberties Union before potentially taking more action. Additionally, he told the Sun Journal he would like monetary compensation, a public apology and for the employee to be fired.
“I’m just trying to stand up for freedom,” he told the Sun Journal.