One of the first ministers in Kansas to perform same-sex weddings has revealed that she is getting frequent death threats.
Same-sex marriage has been legal across Kansas for just three weeks, after a judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court refused to halt the ruling.
Reverend Jackie Carter, of the First Metropolitan Community Church in Wichita, was one of the first ministers to open her doors to gay and lesbian couples, performing a mass wedding on the steps of Sedgwick County Courthouse after the decision.
However, she has been faced with death threats, violence and vandalism for her part in marrying dozens of couples.
She told KSN: “Honestly, I’m beginning to get more scared every day that this goes on.
“Crazy things you can easily put out of your mind, like ‘I’m going to chop your head off and put it on a stick and carry it around the town square’.
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“[But] when you’re here and the phone rings, and there’s heavy breathing and two seconds later the doorbell rings and then somebody’s throwing rocks through the windows… All those things combined create fear.
“Part of me wants to ignore them, and part of me is scared.
“I’ve kind of talked myself into trying to be more calm about it and realizing that there are more people out there that are supporting us than threatening harm to us.”
After rocks and BB pellets were fired through church windows, the pastor has installed a security team, and is hoping to add a surveillance system.
She said: “We have people outside now on Sundays to make sure people get in safely. You shouldn’t have to do that. This is the United States, where we pride ourselves on freedom.
“I’ve asked folks who support the church to help with purchasing cameras that we can have outside the building for the protection.”
She added that the homophobes will not deter her, saying: “I’m not going to change my message of inclusion, I’m not going to change my message of love, and I’m not going to stop marrying people. I’m going to keep it up.
“This is ridiculous hatred that has no place in this city or state or this country.”
Watch the interview via KSN below: