Pastor Rex Cornwell of the Bossier Church of Christ in Bossier City, Louisiana is facing protests outside of his church after he placed an anti-gay sign in his front yard to antagonize his lesbian neighbors.
The sign has a “no” symbol over the rainbow flag with the words “God forbids homosexuality, so should we” and Bible verses condemning homosexuality printed underneath.
In a public Facebook post, Cornwell’s neighbor Lynda Slimer wrote that her wife and two daughters had previously had a friendly relationship with Cornwell and his family: waving hello outdoors, baking him cookies, inviting him into their home, and being told to visit if they ever needed anything. That all changed with Cornwell realized Slimer and her wife weren’t just roommates.
“All thrown out the window because they realized that we are wives and not roommates,” Slimer wrote. “This is not a representation of God. Jesus would not do this.”
She called the sign “filled with hate and biblical mistranslations” adding “[it] is meant to make my family and I scared and uncomfortable in our own home: Our safe space, our sanctuary from the world, our space that we have filled with love and peace and understanding. Our home where we raise our children to be tolerant and understanding and to love everyone like Jesus would…. This is not a representation of God. Jesus would not do this.”
Learning about what was happening from her post, more than two dozen protestors demonstrated across the street from Cornwell’s church with rainbow flags and signs that said “Spread love not hate,” “God is love,” and “Judge not lest ye be judged,” according to KLFY. Protestors say they’ll continue demonstrating at the church until Cornwell takes the sign down.
However, Cornwell wants to keep the sign up.
“Homosexuality is condemned,” he said. “It’s an anathema that means something horrible. We’re just simply taking a stand against the homosexual movement as well as other kinds of sins. So what we do is we’re going to pray for them.”
He continued, “We’ll show them the kind of love that Jesus showed, but we can’t back down either. So we have a responsibility to stand up to the word of God.”
Slimer thanked the protestors, her fellow upset neighbors, a police officer who asked Cornwell to remove the sign from his yard, and friends and family who personally offered her family love and support after she shared her post.
“Jesus was there as we told our children that He loves them and us as we are. Jesus is here in my yard,” Slimer wrote, “not across the street.”