Warning: contains homophobia and violence
Sean Cormie, a newly out gay man, and his boyfriend, Gary Gardner, were attacked at First Assembly of God in Blackwell, Oklahoma after being lured there by Cormie's family.
Cormie says that he is traumatized by what happened.
"I wanted to go to church to make my mom proud and make her happy."
What started off as a normal service soon turned ugly when the pastor began preaching directly at Cormie and Gardner that homosexuality was "an abomination."
Man says he was held, punched at church because he`s gay www.youtube.com
"'It's a sin, it's an abomination, you need to realize, wake up, and see it for a sin,'" Cormie said congregants said as they surrounded him. Gardner was led out of the church alone, seemingly so the congregation could advance on Cormie.
"They hold me down, pin me down, and I'm crying, and the Holy Spirit just comes through me, and they keep speaking in tongues, praying over me. I was just crying 'mercy, mercy.'"
Cormie says he was held down and even punched in the face while the congregation attempted to "pray the gay away."
"Sean Cormie was forced to stay and he was slammed to the ground by his stepfather. A group of 12 to 15 church memb… https://t.co/hUduq7CyEd— Greg Sarafan, esq 🌲👽🌲 (@Greg Sarafan, esq 🌲👽🌲)1568735914.0
@joncoopertweets The First Assembly of God Church should be prosecuted for their unorthodoxed demonic actions. Just… https://t.co/IxBFK30U2w— Mapuana (@Mapuana)1568766332.0
This is not "religion," it's god damned ASSAULT!😡 #SeanCormie #GayDemons #Christian #Exorcism #AntiGay #HocusPocus… https://t.co/YCLIM0FeeX— Mr Burlesk (@Mr Burlesk)1568762772.0
More evidence that religion is poison. https://t.co/92Ad2MpJOO— sneaky_man (@sneaky_man)1568766436.0
First Assembly of God Church in Blackwell, OK beat up a guy trying to make him not gay. Like the congregation, righ… https://t.co/2yxKw52NNO— organized trash (@organized trash)1568669584.0
The First Assembly Of God has released a Facebook statement denying any culpability for the action, but admitting it happened:
"First Assembly is a congregation that loves and is comprised of people from all different backgrounds. In response to allegations that have been made, this incident began as a family matter that escalated."
"Our church would never condone restraint of any person unless they were engaged in violent activity. There is much more to this story, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement to bring all of the facts to light as a rush to judgment is not in anyone's best interest."
But the public isn't buying it.
@Jersey_Craig @joncoopertweets Jesus what’s wrong with these people— Vik (@Vik)1568730201.0
@Jersey_Craig @AccountistLisa This should read: Two men sexually assaulted at church by pastor and members of congregation.— Romana resists (@Romana resists)1568729623.0
@Jersey_Craig Someone should be arrested for kidnapping.— Stable Inconvenience 🧠 (@Stable Inconvenience 🧠)1568728526.0
@Jersey_Craig @johnnynort1 Religion needs to be abolished ASAP— 🌈 A🐺Wolf🐺called🐺Odin 🌈 #FreeChelsea (@🌈 A🐺Wolf🐺called🐺Odin 🌈 #FreeChelsea)1568730896.0
@Jersey_Craig Shame on those parishioners for attacking them! Isn’t that false imprisonment?— Patricia Arquette (@Patricia Arquette)1568760044.0
"I couldn't believe it, a church of all places would show hate and not love," Cormie said.
Cormie has also said he is receiving threats from strangers, telling him to drop the issue.
"I love the pastors with all my heart, but what they did was totally wrong, and I want some kind of consequences out of it. I want it to be heard and known because it really saddens my heart."
@Jersey_Craig So as the story goes, I moved away and lo and behold, guess who I met? That same fake pastor's brothe… https://t.co/GCsis9t19n— Foxy Jackie Brown aka OG (@Foxy Jackie Brown aka OG)1568729666.0
@Jersey_Craig @eaglewarrior427 OMG - You’ve got to be joking! This is horrible. 🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️— RichieFed 🏳️🌈🇮🇹🇺🇸 (@RichieFed 🏳️🌈🇮🇹🇺🇸)1568746755.0
@Jersey_Craig What they did to those gay guys is so wrong.— Frank Briones (@Frank Briones)1568740951.0
@Jersey_Craig All religions use fear to control use congregants and control their bodies. As soon as people see thr… https://t.co/DDiimIpJi8— flick fifo (@flick fifo)1568743147.0
@Jersey_Craig And Jesus said all this about gays: https://t.co/vFFL6cJ0ov— S. Povey (@S. Povey)1568748744.0
"We want the church shut down," Gardner said.
"If they're going to treat people like that, they don't need to be open."
Officials have confirmed they are investigating the matter, but no further comment has been offered.
The book Live Through This: Surviving the Intersections of Sexuality, God, and Race is available here.
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