What you are about to read is a little known history of the violent side of the gay rights movement. Very few people have ever heard this story.
It all started when Pastor Charles McIlhenny, pastor the First Orthodox Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, started a church. In March 1978, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a law that stated that no one could be discriminated against on the basis of “sexual orientation.”
In August of that same year, the church learned that their organist, Kevin, was a practicing homosexual. The young man was approached by Rev. McIlhenny on the basis of Matthew 18:15-20. After several hours of fruitless debate over what the Bible said about homosexuality, Kevin was fired. Based on the anti-discrimination law, Kevin sued Chuck, the church, and the entire Presbytery consisting of ten other churches in northern California at the time. And what was the response of the homosexual community and the always compliant media?
“The media attention stirred up a spiteful homosexual population in San Francisco. As a result of the news articles and radio interviews, we received obscene phone calls, dozens of threatening letters, pornographic materials mailed to us, and death-threats, some of which described the children in detail — their names, ages, what they looked like, where they attended school, and what sexually deviant acts were going to be performed on them before they killed the children. More than once we had to leave the city for safety.”1
Through the legal efforts of John W. Whitehead, who heads up the legal advocacy group the Rutherford Institute, Chuck and his church won the first round of their legal battle. Judge John Ertola stated in the April 3, 1980 ruling that the church was within its rights to fire its organist who was unrepentant:
The framers of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights wrote the Free Exercise Clause to protect religious beliefs that may not be followed by the majority, to allow every person to obey his own conscience without interference from the government. Freedom of religion is so fundamental to American history that it must be preserved even at the expense of other rights which have become institutionalized by the democratic process.
How times and legal opinions have changed.
As a result of the favorable court ruling, the McIlhenny family “continued to be terrorized by death threats over the phone and through the mail.”2 Homosexual protestors attended Sunday morning worship services. Some defaced pew Bibles and psalters. Others would stand up, walk around, slam windows, and verbally protest while Chuck was speaking. Keep in mind that when homosexuals do not get their way, they riot.
Prior to controlling politics in San Francisco, homosexuals exerted their influence through intimidating violence. “On the night of 21 May 1979 hundreds of angry homosexuals stormed city hall, set fire to trash cans and parts of the building, set police cars on fire, broke windows, and injured scores of policemen” because they did not like a jury’s decision concerning the murder of a homosexual.1
- McIlhenny, When the Wicked Seize a City, 81. [↩]
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