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Deranged men shout down pastor trying to deliver Pride church service in possible hate crime

Deranged men shout down pastor trying to deliver Pride church service in possible hate crime
Photo: WFSB screenshot

A Pride-themed church service on Sunday in Connecticut was interrupted by shouting as two men approached the pulpit and accused the pastor of promoting sexual activity among parishioners.

According to the Rev. Greg Gray, pastor at the Congregational Church of Christ in Enfield, the men arrived about an hour before and kept to themselves.

“They were sitting together but not participating in the worship,” Gray told the Middletown Press. He said he sensed right away that they looked out of place.

Midway through the service, as Gray was delivering his sermon, the two men made their way to the pulpit and started yelling their accusations.

The men fled and were later located by police, who said they were talking with the state’s attorney about possible hate crime charges.

“If there is a criminal offense, it would be a disorderly conduct breach of the peace,” Enfield Police Chief Alaric Fox told WFSB in Hartford. “We’d have to look at the applicability of the hate crime statute.”

The men were given a trespassing notice and released.

The men didn’t bring weapons into the church and their protest didn’t result in violence, said Rev. Grey, but they are banned from the house of worship.

Gray said he resumed the service about five minutes after the incident and asked parishioners if they had felt threatened.

“A number of people raised their hands,” he said, adding several of them were straight.

“This is the kind of attack queer people feel all the time,” Gray said he told the congregation.

A vigil for the community is planned for Wednesday evening at the church.

“This kind of behavior has no place in our church or our town,” Gray said. “When hate is strong, love louder.”

“I’m thankful they’re sending people our way,” he said.

 Police Chief Fox said officers will be present at the vigil.

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