A small group of protesters rallied across the street from the house of a Tulsa man who has put up a number of anti-LGBTQ signs in his front yard.
Jon Bailey erected a number of signs condemning homosexuality a few days ago, saying he’s expressing his Christian morals and his belief that homosexuality is wrong.
The signs upset a number of his neighbors, who asked him to take them down. But Bailey stood firm, saying he’s passionate about both the messages and his faith.
“If you don’t agree with [homosexuality], that’s fine, but don’t put up horrible defaming signs,” Cindy Roberts, a neighbor of Bailey’s who has lived in the neighborhood for 17 years, told Tulsa NBC affiliate KJRH. “It’s just showing hate in our neighborhood, an we have kids here. I just hate it.”
Christopher Jones and Terry Geasland, a gay couple who live across the street, and one of three in the neighborhood, said they see the hateful signs every time they walk out their front door or sit on their deck.
“It’s like ‘wow’ in your face,” Jones said. “It’s very ugly. It’s demeaning and it’s a violation of humility towards my family.”
While the Tulsa Police Department can’t do anything to force Bailey to take down the signs without infringing on his freedom of speech, several of the protesters said they wanted to show their opposition to Bailey’s message.
“Obviously, this individual has the right of free speech, and so do we,” Mark Pride, the organizer of the protest, told KJRH. “Jesus called us to love each other and love our neighbor and putting signs in your yard that are hateful and discriminatory is the opposite of that.”
Bailey defended his right to have the signs in his yard, saying: “Homosexuality brings all sorts of evil things with it. They [the protesters] are bullying me because I am different. The more attention I get, the more I will put up. The more hate I get, the more I will push back.”
But Jones and Geasland said they appreciated the protesters’ presence and show of support for the LGBTQ community.
“Ever since the news story aired, we have been getting a lot of support from people all over the country, and it has been nice because God is for everyone and if God is love, what is this across the street?” Jones said. “This is about unity and mutual respect of others in Tulsa.”
As a free LGBTQ publication, Metro Weekly relies on advertising in order to bring you unique, high quality journalism, both online and in our weekly edition. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our incredible advertisers to temporarily close their doors to protect staff and customers, and so we’re asking you, our readers, to help support Metro Weekly during this trying period. We appreciate anything you can do, and please keep reading us on the website and our new Digital Edition, released every Thursday and available for online reading or download.