Lesbian couple claims they were assaulted in church for being gay

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Lesbian couple thrown out of churchA lesbian couple claims they were the victims of an anti-gay assault while attending a Baptist church in Memphis Tennessee.

Monique Stevens, 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 “being disruptive, boisterous and speaking loud. They had to have some kind of agenda to come in church like that.”

More from the Memphis Flyer:

When Stevens placed her arm around her partner, the women claim a security guard asked the two to leave the church, claiming he’d already called the police. They allege that a group of young men pushed them out of the church while others taunted them with calls of “bitch” and “devil worshipper.”

According to Rod 2.0, Pastor Whalum, who stood idly by as the event transpired, was a vocal opponent to proposed anti-discrimination ordinance back in July.

Post by ILO on 08/24/09 at 3:10 pm