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A Texas Pastor called for gay people to be ‘shot in the back of the head’ during sermon

Pastor Dillon Awes said gay people should be ‘lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head’

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Twitter

The Texan Stedfast Baptist Church has faced outrage after Pastor Dillon Awes called for LGBTQ+ people to be subject to criminal conviction and the death penalty.

The Watauga-based Church, which is labelled an “anti-LGBT hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was holding a Sunday sermon on 5 June when Awes voiced a number of horrific statements. 

Referencing Pride Month in his sermon titled ‘Why We Won’t Shut Up,’  Awes said: “I’m angry this morning because our entire country is celebrating the worse sin in the Bible.”

He continued; “You know a lot of pastors have this stupid idea where it’s just like, ‘oh you know God loves everyone. And God hates the sin but loves the sinner.’ But people have taken this to such an extreme where they’re saying celebrate the sin, not just tolerate it, celebrate it… Let me show what the Bible says about these people.”

Awes then read several Bible passages that he claimed condemn homosexuality as sinful before he stated that gay people should be “lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head”.

His reading was met with cheers from the audience. 

“What does God say is the answer, is the solution, for the homosexual in 2022, here in the New Testament, here in the Book of Romans?” Awes said. “That they are worthy of death! These people should be put to death!”

In a statement posted to social media (8 June), the Watauga police department denounced the pastor’s message but stated his comments are protected by free speech as they “protect people’s right to express their identities”.

The local Dallas-Fort Worth Texas newspaper, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reported (13 June) that a number of community members attended a meeting of the Watauga City Council to ask city officials to push back against the church’s presence in the city.

“The attacks against the LGBTQ community won’t go unanswered,” said one of the multiple residents that spoke at the meeting to condemn the church’s hate speech.

It was reported that Awes was also present at the council meeting and accused the Steadfast protestors of harassment.

While LGBTQ+ rights vary from state to state in the US, Texan laws are particularly challenging as there is no statewide law banning anti-LGBT discrimination.

Earlier this year, legislation came into effect in Texas preventing trans pupils from playing in school sports teams that match their gender identity.

In February, the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate the parents of trans children for helping them access gender-affirming care. 

A statewide injunction was placed on the order halting it. However, the Texas Supreme Court lifted this in May but also said the DFPS didn’t have to follow the orders of Abbott. 

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.