Vandals spray-painted “Burn Leviticus 18:22 Lies” on the doors of the Metropolitan Community Church early on July 21 in Augusta, Georgia (video below).
Leviticus 18:22, a Bible verse that condemns homosexuality, was apparently painted on the church because of its gay pastor, Rick Sosbe, who married his partner, Michael Rehn, on June 30.
Leviticus 18:20, a verse against sex with a neighbor's wife, and “You’ll Burn” were spray-painted on the church's steps.
Sosbe told The Augusta Chronicle:
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"I was angry. I was very sad and I thought, 'Just why?' To me, it seems so interesting that they’re saying on there that you’ll burn — in other words saying 'You’ll burn in hell,' I’m sure — and quoting scripture. Is that what Christianity — right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity — has come to?"
Sosbe said the church may purchase some security cameras.
Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies were not able to get any fingerprints from the dried paint, which caused about $2,500 worth of damage.
There have been previous incidents at the church, including the theft of a rainbow flag.
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Augusta Pride and and other LGBT supporters held a rally at the church later that day to show support.
Sosbe told WSAV, "This clearly is a hate crime. Based on the saying we will burn and the scripture they are referencing."
Georgia does not have any hate crime laws.