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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 24, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 26
Hundreds protest hate-speaking Sacramento pastor
Section One
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Hundreds protest hate-speaking Sacramento pastor

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Nearly 1,000 members and supporters of Sacramento's LGBT community surrounded Verity Baptist Church on June 19 to protest hate speech by Pastor Roger Jimenez.

The previous Sunday, only hours after news of the horrific Orlando massacre broke on the West Coast, Jimenez denounced the victims and called for executions of all LGBT people.

'There's no tragedy,' Jimenez said. 'I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.'

According to the Sacramento Bee, demonstrators came from all over California to picket Jimenez's church in response to his hateful remarks. Among them was the owner of a Gay bar in Pasadena who drove up with two employees after closing time Saturday night.

At 10:45 a.m., the organizers of the rally held a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando shooting. Then they began to read the names. After the 49 names were read, the crowd began to chant 'not one more.'

Many held photos of the victims and rainbow flags. Signs said 'We are all Orlando,' and 'Love conquers hate.'

Openly Gay city councilman Steve Hansen hand-delivered an additional 200 signs for the event after organizers ran out of the 400 he gave them initially. Hansen had the signs printed with campaign funds left over from his re-election campaign, which he won on June 7.

'I heard from people around the country - my friends from D.C., my family in Minnesota - that they'd heard about this minister, and I wanted to make sure that one person, just like in Orlando, doesn't destroy all the goodwill, all the positiveness,' Hansen said. 'And what we've seen today is a lot of love.'

Lifting Up Jesus Church, in the same office park as Verity, opened its restrooms for use by protesters.

At least 30 sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers were on hand to keep the crowd back and control traffic, as about 75 worshippers entered and exited the church.

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At last!

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