'There Are People Here Who Have Guns, and They're Going to Protect the Building'
A rabidly anti-gay Fort Worth pastor suggested in a sermon Wednesday that members of his church will shoot LGBT activists who plan a protest outside the building this weekend.
Last week, Pastor Donnie Romero of Stedfast Baptist Church, which has been designated an anti-LGBT hate group, said he's praying for survivors of the Orlando terror attack to die. The New Civil Rights Movement was the first national outlet to report on Romero's remarks, which have now been viewed nearly 64,000 times on YouTube.
In another sermon Wednesday, Romero responded to criticism of his hateful comments by denying that they incite violence against LGBT people.
"I'm not saying, 'Go kill these people.' The government should be doing it," Romero said.
Then, Romero proceeded to make a thinly veiled threat against protesters who plan to gather outside Stedfast Baptist Church on Sunday morning.
"There are people here who have guns, and they're going to protect the building," Romero said. "If somebody came here, it wouldn't be a good day. It's not a very good idea. We live in Texas, OK?"
Earlier in Wednesday's sermon, Romero claimed the Orlando terror attack is part of "an agenda by the government to take away the guns and disarm the people."
"In our church, we have men that are armed," he said. "They are permitted, they are armed, and they know how to shoot, and they know how to protect themselves, and that's a line of defense."
Romero said the church plans to "put up the things" â€” presumably barricades â€” to keep the protesters out, because the church is "not a circus" but "a house of God."
"We let them come in here and film us last week just to show them we have nothing to hide," Romero said. "We're normal people, we're regular people, we're just people who go out and have jobs and work, but we're also people that believe in the Bible, and we're not going to be intimidated by these people."
Romero also referred to Muhammad as a "Satan god" and a "pedophile," mocked the pro-LGBT slogan "Love Wins" and insisted that a "silent majority" of Americans oppose "sodomy."
"They're trying to take away our guns and they'r trying to take away our freedom of speech, and they're trying to label everything hate," Romero said. "Who cares, even if it is hate speech, I don't care."
Sunday's protest is being organized by a newly formed LGBT group called "I Am Done," which has posted an update on the Facebook event page warning people against approaching the church or initiating confrontations with members.
"We want to conduct a successful protest where nothing occurs that would jeopardize the strength of our statement that WE ARE DONE with this kind of hate speech," the update states. "REMEMBER - This is Texas, where the laws governing the open and concealed carry of weapons are very lax. There is a HIGH probability that members of this small congregation will be carrying weapons. IF THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE IN ANY WAY, PLEASE DO NOT PLAN TO ATTEND."
In addition to the protest, the LGBT group Fairness Fort Worth has launched a fundraiser for homeless youth in response to Romero's sermon. Fairness Fort Worth hopes to raise $10,000 by Tuesday for Tarrant County Care Closets, which serves homeless youth at area high schools.
"Sadly, 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ; however, we mean it when we want ALL kids to succeed," the group's GoFundMe page states. "Tuesday, June 28, marks the anniversary of both the Stonewall Riot and Rainbow Lounge Raid. What better way for us to show our strength through current adversity than to pay our blessings forward."