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Gay Man Says Oklahoma Church Members Held Him Down And Beat Him During Service

Gay Man Says Oklahoma Church Members Held Him Down And Beat Him During Service

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

"'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."

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.

"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."

"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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