Love thy neighbor

Pastor erects anti-gay sign after he discovers neighbors are same-sex couple

The anti-gay church sign outside the church in Bossier City, Louisiana
The sign outside Bossier Church of Christ (Photo: Facebook)

A church in Bossier City, Louisiana faced a protest after its pastor erected a sign on its front law indicating its objection to LGBTQ people.

Pastor Rex Cornwell, of the Bossier Church of Christ, erected the sign after learning that his neighbors – who he’d previously been friendly towards when he thought they were just roommates – are a married, same-sex couple.

Shannon and Lynda Slimer
Shannon and Lynda Slimer (Photo: Facebook)

One of the neighbors concerned, Lynda Slimer, last week posted to Facebook about what happened.

“This is the sign that my wife and I and our 2 daughters came home to today. This is a sign filled with hate and biblical mistranslations that is meant to make my family and I scared and uncomfortable in our own home.

“This is the sign we come home to in the yard of the Pastor who lives across from us, whose church website states “Everyone is welcome”. 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.”

She continued, “Jesus WAS in my neighborhood today though. Jesus was there in all of my neighbors that were upset and showed their support. Jesus was there in the policemen who showed up and asked them to remove the sign, knowing that all they could do was ask. Jesus showed up in the form of our family and friends that have loved on us today. For each and every one of you we are SO Thankful!

“Jesus was there as we told our children that He loves them and us as we are. Jesus is here in my yard, not across the street.”

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The sign erected features a rainbow flag with a ‘Stop’/’No entry’ sign overlaying it, along with the wording: “God forbids homosexuality, so should we.”

Another neighbor also posted about the sign. Lyra Jousma posted, “This is BEYOND insane! A PASTOR has this sign in their yard!!! Right across the street from my house! This hits hard for my family because my daughter is gay.”

After Slimer’s Facebook posting was shared, a peaceful protest was arranged last Sunday outside the church. Around two dozen people showed up and held up rainbow signs saying ‘Love is Love’, ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ and other messages. Lynda and her wife, Shannon Slimer, were not in town that day but posted another message to Facebook thanking those showing them support.

“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!”

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However, it seems the Pastor Cornwell was unmoved. He told told CBS affiliate KLFY, “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.

“So what we do is we’re going to pray for them,” he added. “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 [for] the word of God.”

Queerty contacted Shannon Slimer to ask if the sign was still in place.

“Yes, the sign is still in my neighbor’s yard along with another that now says ‘smile at the camera’,” she replied. “Apparently they have put up a camera in their yard because of the sign.”