Closure of ‘Jesus would stone homos’ church delayed amid legal challenge
A New York hate preacher has won a reprieve – after a decision to stall the foreclosure of his church.
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.
The Church’s notorious pastor James David Manning, who claims Starbucks flavours coffee with the “semen of Sodomites”, has pledged to fight the sale, amid a bid from LGBT homeless charity the Ali Forney Center to buy the church.and turn it into an LGBT centre.
The hate church was set to be auctioned off later this week – but Manning won a temoprary reprieve by appealing to the New York Supreme Court.
Amid the legal challenge, New York State Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe issued a stay that prevents the foreclosure auction from taking place, pending a hearing on April 21.
Manning, who met with Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump earlier this year, was jubilant about the news.
He said: “We have been able to get a stay on this matter. We are safe in this church until this matter can be fully heard.”
But Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, told PinkNews in a statement that the delay would actually boost the chances of a successful bid.
He said in a statement: “This development gives us more time to research the conditions of the ATLAH building and assemble the most advantageous financial package possible prior to making a bid for the building at auction.
“While we are excited at the possibility of acquiring the building at auction, we were anxious at needing to rush quickly into this process.
“The temporary restraining order allows us time to gain more knowledge and strengthen our position.”
So far, more than $315,000 has been raised in donations to buy the site, which would be converted to provide housing and vocational support to homeless LGBT youth.
Mr Siciliano added: “Because of the extraordinary success of the Harlem No Hate campaign, AFC will acquire new space to house and support our kids, whether at ATLAH or elsewhere.
“This represents a great victory for our homeless youth who will find home and safety.
“It also represents a great victory for our LGBT community, and our allies, who have, in standing up to protect homeless LGBT youths from ATLAH’s messages of hatred and violence, demonstrated that we are a caring, compassionate and generous community.
“No matter the outcome of the legal hearing, our youth have already won.”
Manning has threatened to barricade himself inside the church and take up arms if it is sold to the AFC.
He said: “We don’t want to have to go to this extreme… but if we have to, if the people of New York don’t stand with us and demand that we be given the court documents… then we are going to barricade ourselves in this building.
“We will stay here, and we will dare them to come and put a finger on anybody. We’ll let the world know what the sodomite faggots are trying to do to us.
“We’re not going anywhere.”