Arkansas Pastor Opposes LGBT Rights, Is Convicted Serial Rapist (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Pastor Acra Turner, of the Penn Memorial Baptist Church in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a vocal opponent of a law that protects LGBT people from discrimination, but he is also a convicted serial rapist.

Pastor Turner recently appeared in a new video (below) calling for the repeal of Eureka Springs' Ordinance 2223, which was passed by the town in February, notes the New York Daily News.

"This is not a human rights issue, it's a human behavior issue," Pastor Turner says in the video. "I have nothing against gays, I love them."

Pastor Turner confirmed to the Arkansas Times that he was convicted on three counts of rape in Oklahoma in 1977. He was sentenced to three concurrent sentences of 30 to 60 years, but was released in 2000.

The Oklahoman reported in 1992 that a rape victim and the families of victims called  on the state's Pardon and Parole Board to keep Pastor Turner behind bars.

After his release from jail, he worked coaching basketball at a Christian college in Missouri, was employed as a pastor at the Rock Springs Baptist Church in Eureka Springs and was hired at the Penn Memorial Baptist Church on April 15.

Pastor Turner told the Arkansas Times:

All that does is just show the same thing I show now: How God can change a man's life. That's 40 years ago. That's behind me. It's nothing I've tried to hide. I preach about it on Sundays. I don't preach about it much because it's been so many years ago. I go to jails and prisons where guys go, "Hey, you don't understand what it's like to be locked up." I'll say, "Yes I do."

Sources: Arkansas Times, The Oklahoman, New York Daily News
Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot