This is awful. Imagine getting bashed while in a church! Via Commercial Appeal:
Monique Stephens, who is a lesbian, said she and her partner were attending the 11 a.m. service at New Olivet Baptist Church because they wanted to meet the Rev. Kenneth Whalum Jr., who they intended to support in the Oct. 15 mayoral election.
An hour into service, Whalum told the congregation to bow to the ground and blow kisses to God, Stephens said, but she and her partner, who are agnostic, did not move.
She said Whalum and church members began calling them “devil worshippers” and “gay,” among other derogatory names. Security guards surrounded and pushed them out of the sanctuary. Stephens said her glasses were broken and both she and her partner of three years have bruises and scratches from the altercation. No arrests were made, police said.
Whalum, however, said the women were removed for interrupting service, not for being lesbians, “If I put every lesbian out of church, we’d be putting people out of church all day long,” said Whalum.
Whalum is opposed to Memphis’ proposed anti-discrimination ordinance.