A pack of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates descended upon an Iowa church last Sunday to denounce as homophobic a sign advertising that week's sermon on homosexuality.
As the Des Moines Register is reporting, the Sunday morning sermon at the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ drew an estimated 100 protesters, many of whom say they were angered by an illuminated sign displayed outside the church which read "Gay is not okay."
Carrying rainbow flags and other banners, the crowd gathered on sidewalks and a church lawn. Many of them had seen the marquee thanks to a photo posted on Facebook by Des Moines resident Patrick Boltinghouse. "[It was] like watching 'Family Guy’ except for it’s real life, not a cartoon, not being sarcastic and cynical," Boltinghouse said of the experience. "They were being real."
Rev. Mike Demastus told local ABC affiliate WOI-DT that he received threatening messages after the sign -- the message of which he says has been misinterpreted -- was posted.
"This is the community that cries wanting us to be tolerant and I said gay is not okay, I didn't say gays are not okay," he said, noting that he was targeting homosexuality, but not homosexuals specifically. Though he eventually replaced the word 'gay' with 'adultery' after the sign was vandalized, he noted, "When I did take it down it was when I received messages that indicated simply my address and the message, 'Hope you feel safe at home.'"
As for the sermon itself, the Register said Demastus compared sexuality to the purchase of an iPad and the instructions for how to use it. If people don’t follow those instructions, he said, they won’t be happy with the results. "They wrote those instructions for my benefit," Demastus said. "God created sex. He knows how it works."