Anti-gay sign in religious leader’s yard sparks protest outside Bossier City church

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Supporters of a lesbian couple whose neighbor put up an anti-gay sign in his front yard earlier this week staged a peaceful protest Sunday morning outside his Bossier City church.

Lynda Slimer of Benton, La. says she and her wife and daughters came home to this sign Friday in the yard of her neighbor, who is a pastor at Church of Christ Bossier.

The protest was prompted by a Facebook post shared Friday by Lynda Slimer of Benton, who said she and her wife and two daughters came home that day to find a sign in her neighbor’s yard featuring the international ‘No’ symbol over the rainbow colors of the Gay Pride flag with “God forbids homosexuality, so should we” and Bible verses printed below.

Slimer’s neighbor is Rex Cornwell, an evangelist of the Bossier Church of Christ.

Slimer notes that the yard sign seems to have been prompted by Cornwell’s realization that she and her wife are not roommates.

“We’ve lived here a year, I’ve baked them cookies, invited them into our home and introduced them to our family. They have waved to us as they come and go and we have talked about the weather. They’ve told us if we ever need anything to just come knock on their door. All thrown out the window because they realized that we are wives and not roommates. This is not a representation of God. Jesus would not do this.”

Slimer posted the sign on Facebook which sparked public outrage and also prompted supporters to organize Sunday’s protest outside Cornwell’s church in South Bossier.

More than two dozen people showed up to gather across the street from the church with signs that read, “Spread love not hate, ” “God is love,” and “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Some carried rainbow flags or wore rainbow-themed clothing.

“Love is love. We love everyone. We love the minister of the church that we’re gathered for here, but we do hope that he can find it in his heart to bring down the hateful sign that is breaking the hearts of his neighbors,” said Sarah Hair, one of the protesters, “We’re commanded to love our neighbors and that’s what we want to do.”

James LeBlanc is another peaceful protester. He’s a married gay man whose been with his husband for almost 8 years, and says he can’t imagine what it would feel like to drive through his own neighborhood and feel like he doesn’t belong.

“Anyone of faith can have the opinions and beliefs that they feel like they hold dear.
There’s nothing wrong with that. What we have an issue with is the stance that he took where it’s not about conviction, it’s about bullying his neighbor,” said LeBlanc.

“Gay people are also people of faith, and we are hoping that this message maybe resonates
with him some.”

Cornwell says he’s an evangelist with a responsibility to stand up for the Word of God and he’s just defending the Bible.

“Homosexuality is condemned. 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,” said Cornwell.

The sign outside of his home has four scriptures underneath the quote reading:

  • Leviticus 20:13 (NKJV) – “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”
  • Romans 1:26-29 (KJV) – “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV) – “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
  • Jude 7 (KJV) – “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

“So what we do is we’re going to pray for them. 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,” said Cornwell.

He says if anyone wanted to visit his church he wouldn’t mind. Their doors are always open as long as anyone is quiet and kind, but whoever walks through his doors will hear the truth he says is God’s Word.

For their part, the Slimers, who were out of town Sunday, shared a message thanking those who came out to support them.

“We wanted to let you all know that we appreciate you all more than we can explain. This community has made us feel SO LOVED, and for that we are eternally grateful. Sending you all love and hugs!”

According to the NWLA Stands with Love Facebook page, more protests are planned until the sign is taken down. Another protest is in the works for next Sunday.

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