Church gets homophobic abuse for flying rainbow flag, responds with second pro-LGBT banner
A church that got homophobic abuse for flying the rainbow flag has responded by putting up a second pro-LGBT banner.
The Community Christian Church in Tempe, Arizona had been proudly flying a Pride flag for over a year without incident.
However, last week an angry Trump supporter entered the LGBT-inclusive church and screamed homophobic abuse at an administrator in the church office, demanding the removal of the flag.
The church’s pastor Doug Bland recalled on Facebook: “The man was using inflammatory, graphic language about gay people and his ‘righteous’ hatred for them.
“He threatened to pay people to protest in front of our church. He said that he was not above spreading lies about paedophilia in our church.
“He told [office administrator] Keeley that if Hilary had won he would have driven right on by, but since Trump won he felt empowered to speak and act out because the country agrees with him.
“Keeley maintained her cool, but was obviously shaken by the encounter. She did a great job diffusing and not escalating the situation.”
The church has filed a police report over the incident.
After taking some time to consider its response, the church decided the best course of action is to double down on equality.
Pastor Bland has now added a purple banner to the church tower alongside the Pride flag.
The new banner bears the phrase: “LOVERS in a dangerous time”
The pastor explained: “We are in a new and very uncertain political world, post-truth and post-civility.
“Some feel that they have been given permission to speak and act in hateful and cruel ways.
“Pray that there will be leaders in our community and our nation who will not tolerate hate, threats and violence.”
Watch a report via local news outlet KPHO: