A 23-year old gay Oklahoma man is accusing local church members of assaulting him during a coordinated attempt to pray away his homosexuality. Sean Cormie says he and his partner went to church to appease his family, but he was lured to the pulpit, held down, and even punched as church members attempted a religious intervention he did not agree to.
“I wanted to go to church to make my mom proud and make her happy,” Cormie told KFOR.
He says he came out as gay last spring, and his family asked him to go to the First Assembly of God Church and bring his partner, Gary Gardner.
“Cormie said as 12 to 15 congregants circled around Gardner and himself, their prayer growing louder. Meanwhile, they said the pastor began making statements against homosexuality,” KFOR reports.
“‘It’s a sin, it’s an abomination, you need to realize, wake up, and see it for a sin,’” Cormie says he heard.
Cormie and his partner felt humiliated and tried to leave. Gardner was “shuffled” out of the church, but Cormie says he was not allowed to leave.
“They hold me down, pin me down, and I’m crying, and the Holy Spirit just comes through me, and they keep speaking in tongues, praying over me,” Cormie said. He also says he was punched in the face. “I was just crying ‘mercy, mercy.'”
Gardner told News 9 the congregants picked Cormie “up and body slammed him over and started praying on him, and when they were doing that, Sean ended up with marks on his arms a black eye and sort of blacked out.”
The alleged attack happened Sunday, September 8. Cormie went to the Blackwell, Oklahoma police, but they have made no arrests and would not comment on their investigation.
Leaders of the First Assembly of God Church, Pastors Bill and Tami McKissick, issued a disturbing statement.
“This began as a family matter that escalated. Our church would never condone restraint of any person unless they were engaged in violent activity. There is much more to this incident, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement to hopefully bring all of the facts to light as a rush to judgment is not in anyone’s best interest.”
Cormie says that strangers are now threatening him, telling him to drop the matter.
“I love the pastors with all my heart,” Cormie said, “but what they did was totally wrong, and I want some kind of consequences out of it. I want it to be heard and known because it really saddens my heart.”
Watch KFOR’s report:
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