A pastor who addressed a city council meeting in Arlington, Texas told the council and the crowd that gay people should be executed as people in the crowd said “Amen” and “Yup.”
“According to God we should hate Pride, not celebrate it,” Pastor Jonathan Shelley of the Stedfast Bible Church in Hurst, Texas said as the audience booed. “God has already ruled that murder, adultery, witchcraft, rape, bestiality, and homosexuality are crimes worthy of capital punishment.”
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Shelley has a long history of hateful anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, but usually he only calls for the death of LGBTQ people in his church. Now he’s trying to get public officials to agree to execute gay people.
The city council was taking public comment on a proposed resolution to acknowledge June as Pride Month, something that many other local governments have already done. Shelley said that he’s “horrified and ashamed” that the city would “promote and solicit Pride,” saying that the city shouldn’t “celebrate what used to be a crime not long ago.”
Homosexuality “is an abomination,” Shelley said.
He went on to say that celebrating Pride “would promote disease and AIDS in our community.” Homophobia has actually been connected with increased HIV transmission rates. Experts say that anti-gay stigma increases risky behavior among LGBTQ people and makes health interventions harder.
He also said that LGBTQ people are pedophiles, falsely asserting that the average LGBTQ person sexually molests 20 to 150 children in their lifetime and commit an average of 154 sex acts on children, without citing a source for his absurd statistics. The American Psychological Association says that straight men are the most likely to molest children.
But Shelley’s main point wasn’t about science, it was about politics and power. He said that the LGBTQ community “hates children, hates Baptists, hates Christianity, and hates God.”
While people were mostly silent during his speech, some clapped and some can be heard saying “Yup” and “Amen.”
Christian hate-preacher Jonathan Shelley spoke at today's Arlington (TX) City Council meeting against an acknowledgment of Pride Month.
He insisted gay people deserved to be executed.
His supported (who filmed the exchange) applauded him, but many others openly jeered. pic.twitter.com/SprktJFr4h
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) May 25, 2022