Pastor Orders Congregation to Attack Gay Couple for Attending Church
Jerry Pitman Jr. and partner Dustin Lee are making news this morning with the freshest take on ugly homophobic behavior that we’ve seen in a long time. The couple attempted to attend a church service at Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland, Tennessee last Wednesday, but never quite made it inside – because the pastor ordered his congregation to attack the gay men.
Pittman said the attacked was prompted by the pastor of the church, Jerry Pittman, his father.
“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smashed me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.
The deputy sheriff who arrived on scene refused to take a statement from the couple, even though they were the ones who had summoned the police. Without a statement reporting that an ugly incident of Christian mob violence had occurred, the officer on duty refused to press charges against the pastor or the violent deacons.
After an ABC News crew picked up the story and interviewed the Sheriff, the couple was permitted to finally press charges against Deacons Billy Sims, Eugene McCoy and Patrick Flatt along with Pastor Jerry Pittman.
It should come as absolutely no surprise that all of this went down in the Don’t Say Gay Bill state, Tennessee. It’s no wonder that the average Tennessean thinks this sort of behavior is acceptable after hearing his state legislators openly and aggressively demonizing LGBT people for much of the past year.
Tracy Morgan threatened to kill his son if he turns out to be gay on a Nashville stage this year. A Dollywood employee forced a lesbian woman to turn a marriage equality t-shirt inside out this summer. And a homophobic neighbor celebrated his lesbian neighbors’ anniversary by burning their home to the ground.
All of these incidents were made possible by the open disrespect and contempt the Tennessee legislature has for LGBT Americans. Let’s hope that these two young men actually receive a fair shot at justice here.
Worst father ever?