Joshua Harrison and Jeremy Jeffers of Clarendon, Texas woke up Monday morning to find that they had been the victims of a hate crime. Local vandals had given their porch an unwanted paint job: “Leave fags or die.”
“It was a nice message painted on our front porch right in front of our door,” Harrison said.
Harrison and Jeffers immediately reported the incident to the police. Donley County Sheriff Charles “Butch” Blackburn, whose department is currently leading the investigation, said, “I consider it a hate crime.”
The couple have been together for a year and a half, but only encountered hostility from the town’s residents two weeks ago after the local newspaper ran an ad from Clarendon Church of Christ Pastor Chris Moore, denouncing the “Homosexual Movement.”
Connect Amarillo reports:
In the ad, Moore used the National Coalition of Gay Organizations as his source. A Pronews 7 investigation found virtually no information on the coalition other than it was a convention from 1972 — 40 years ago.
The ad listed seven bullet points that warn residents about the homosexual movement, including a line that said “Folks, don’t be fooled, the ‘gay’ agenda isn’t about ‘equal’ rights for gay couples. Their agenda would force everyone to compromise their values, make our children legal prey for pedofiles.”
For his part, Pastor Moore remains unapologetic, confident that what he wrote “was facts” and if something “wasn’t factual,” he would “gladly fix it.” Moore added, “I don’t condone that type of behavior. It is un-Christian to vandalize or be violent to anybody.”
Jeffers and Harrison are now planning on moving away from Clarendon. “It’s sad,” Jeffers said. “For the first time in my life, I have never felt this scared.”