A New York LGBT homeless charity has reached a crucial funding target – ahead of a bid to buy an anti-LGBT church at auction.
A court recently ordered that Harlem’s infamous ATLAH World Missionary Church – which has signs advocating the death penalty for gay people – be put up for auction over £1 million in unpaid debts.
In a fantastic tactical move, New York LGBT homeless charity the Ali Forney Center launched an online fundraising campaign in a bid to buy the church and turn it into an LGBT centre.
Harnessing the power of the internet and karmic justice, the AFC hit their $200,000 donation funding target today with 14 days to go until the auction.
In a statement, AFC Executive Director Carl Siciliano said: “It has been an extraordinary two weeks.
“We have been overwhelmed with support and encouragement and now have the opportunity to turn a place that has promoted hatred and violence into a safe space for LGBT homeless youth.
“Ali Forney, who inspired the founding of the organization, was murdered in Harlem in 1997, only 12 blocks from ATLAH. In 2013 Islan Nettles was beaten to death in Harlem only one mile from ATLAH.
“Could there be a more just outcome to the ATLAH foreclosure than that the young LGBT people most endangered by the hatred and contempt Manning promotes would take over his building.”
He added: “AFC’s acquiring the beautiful and historic building that now stands as a symbol of hate would be extraordinary, but the bottom line is this: the Ali Forney Center has 200 youths per night on the waiting list for our beds.
“As an organization, we have no obligation more urgent than to increase our capacity to provide housing to these vulnerable youth.
“With the support of the Harlem community, those who have contributed and many others offering to help, we approach the February 24th auction with confidence and hope.”
However, it’s not a done deal – and there’s a number of other bidders who are after the church for development projects.
Mr Siciliano continued: “Given the real estate market in Harlem we anticipate the bidding will go significantly higher than the $1.02M owed and we are in discussion with potential developers and investors to acquire the building and we anticipate having a partner by the time of the auction.
“We will continue fundraising through the #HarlemNoHate campaign and make every effort to be in as strong a position as possible to acquire the building.”
He vented last week: “They’re going to turn this church into a bathhouse, they’re going to turn this church into a homeless building for the sodomites.
“The sodomites are sick as hell! This is the lord’s house! This ain’t no damn bathhouse! It ain’t no fag house!
“And before you can ever own this property, men who are fags with testicles will be carrying babies in their testicles and giving birth to them through their anus.
“That’s how impossible it is for you to get this house. When you start carrying a baby in your bags and birthing that baby through your ass… then you can own this house!”
He added: “Until I see you pull a baby out your ass, you ain’t gonna pull this church out from underneath us.
“Boom shaka-laka goes right there! And all you fags can go to hell!”
The auction is set for February 24.