Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lesbian Couple Assaulted in Memphis Church

According to this story in the Commercial Appeal, a lesbian couple in Memphis told police they were assaulted while attending an 11 a.m. church service Sunday.

Monique Stephens and her partner of three years were at the New Olivet Baptist Church to meet the Reverend Kenneth Whalum Jr., a candidate for the local mayoral election in October.

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.

Whalum, however, said the women were “being disruptive, boisterous and speaking loud. They had to have some kind of agenda to come in church like that.”

It took about 10 minutes for security to remove the women for interrupting service, not for being lesbians, he said. “If I put every lesbian out of church, we’d be putting people out of church all day long,” said Whalum.

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