Proud neighbourhood homophobe targets gay couple with ‘horrible’ yard signs – and police say there’s nothing they can do
A gay couple are being forced to endure their homophobic neighbour’s abusive yard signs every time they step outside, and police are powerless to stop it.
Christopher Jones and Terry Geasland live in a peaceful neighbourhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They faced no problems until their neighbour across the street, Jon Bailey, began displaying hateful signs that disgusted the local community.
“That’s hate. We do not need this in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Jones told local news station KRJH, which deemed the signs too offensive to display on air.
“It’s like wow in your face. It’s very ugly. It’s demeaning and it’s a violation of humility towards my family.”
The couple lived happily in the house for the past two years, but now whenever they go to sit on their deck they are greeted with the sight of homophobic slurs.
Bigoted neighbour says ‘homosexuality is wrong’.
Bailey bases his actions in his strong Christian faith. He claims to have held these beliefs for years, but waited until now to display the prominent signs.
“I was brought up in a Christian home with Christian morals and values,” he said. “I believe that homosexuality is wrong.
“I”m not putting them down, I’m just standing up to them and saying this is wrong. I’m trying to show them there is a better way.”
Multiple neighbours have condemned the vile slogans and say they are concerned for the couple’s safety.
“I have lived in this neighbourhood for 17 years,” said one resident, Cindy Roberts. “I have never seen anything this awful. It disgusts me. I’m upset.
“If you don’t agree with [homosexuality], that’s fine, but don’t put up horrible defaming signs. It’s just showing hate in our neighbourhood, and we have kids here. I just hate it.”
Freedom of speech laws leave police powerless.
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Many have requested that the signs be removed, but laws protecting freedom of speech mean the police are unable to intervene.
“There’s really nothing the Tulsa Police Department can do to this individual because he has the right to have freedom of speech,” Officer Jeanne Pierce told KRJH.
“He has the right to post and hang whatever he wants on his property.”
“I know my rights,” Bailey said. “The gay and lesbian community are bullying people into being quiet and to being silent, and they are making people like me that are standing up against them feel like criminals.”
He dismissed the concerns of a local LGBT+ advocacy group, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Centre, which warned that his signs are “a step away from violence” and could encourage attacks on the LGBT+ community.
“You can look at my character and my actions and know that I don’t hurt people,” Bailey claimed.
“I am spreading awareness and it empowers other people to stand up against this.”