Stan York, who has lived in Palermo with his husband for years, and chose to raise their family in the town, shared on Facebook that he was deeply saddened by a local church utilizing their sign to share the anti-LGBTQ message during Pride Month.
The sign outside the Second Baptist Church read, "Jesus made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," a phrase that has been used since, at least, 1977.
York shared that he was disappointed because he had been a member of the community, and accepted, for so long.
"This is the town where my husband Tom and I raised our sons, participating in local and school functions with other parents and their families. The same town where we have run a business for over 30 years and employed many Palermo residents. The town where we were both elected as town officials (myself as Treasurer and Tom as a Selectperson) in the late 90s and early 2000s," York wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.
"And now, in 2019, I need to drive my grandchildren past this sign on our way to our family camp; and when they ask questions I have to explain to them about homophobia and hatred, and how their grandparents are not seen as productive and loving members of the community, but people to be feared, shunned and ostracized," he continued.
Many on social media shared their support for York and his family.
"Few have showed me more respect or deserved more of my respect," a community, Billy Howell Jr. wrote. "I'm sorry that kind ignorance still exist especially from a religious stand point. Thank you for sharing and not just letting it slide."
Another neighbor, Tim Sanborn, wrote, "Sorry [you're] dealing with this in your own neighborhood know that you are welcome as you are in [our] life."
On Wednesday, Second Baptist Church appeared to respond to the criticism they received with Psalm 97:10.
The church shared on their Facebook, "Ye that love the LORD, hate evil."
"As Believers in Christ, we are commanded to love sinners as all of us are broken by sin. However, we are also commanded to hate sin. We should hate sin and be grieved by it whether it be our own, our state's or our nation's," the post read in part.
"We are a Church that strives to make anyone feel welcome to attend the services, but at the same time realize repentance or turning from sin to Christ for salvation is our only hope of Reconciliation to God," the post continued. "Anyone and everyone is invited to join us for services whether they agree with our positions or not. They will be welcomed and treated warmly, and the Word of God will be proclaimed without compromise."
"It is Pride Month for the LGBT community, and I am so very proud of myself and my husband," York wrote. "But I am sad that our children and grandchildren still have to see signs like this one in their back yard."
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