A Kansas pastor is refusing to give in to hate.
Rev. Jackie Carter, a pastor at First Metropolitan Community Church, claims she’s been getting death threats after she started performing same-sex weddings for couples in her area.
After alleged vandals broke windows at the Wichita church, her congregations is considering taking extra security measures -- like purchasing cameras and having people stand guard outside during services.
“When you’re here and the phone rings, and there’s heavy breathing and two seconds later the doorbell rings and then somebody’s throwing rocks through the windows. All those things combined create fear,” Carter told KSN.
Despite the threats to herself and to her church community, Carter says she won’t stop helping LGBT couples tie the knot.
“I’m not going to change my message of inclusion, I’m not going to change my message of love, and I’m not going to stop marrying people. I’m going to keep it up!” she told the news station. “This is ridiculous hatred that has no place in this city or state or this country.”
Some counties in Kansas have been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since October. However, it is unclear whether the state will continue to recognize these marriages, as Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage is still being debated in the courts.
Kansas state is currently facing a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two lesbian couples who weren’t allowed to obtain marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick County, which is where Carter’s church is located. The state wanted to put a stay on gay marriages as it fought the lawsuit, but the U.S. Supreme Court denied that request last month, the AP reports.
As of Thursday, Kansas has issued 23 marriage certificates to same-sex couples, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Earlier this year, Carter made history by officiating the weddings of 15 same-sex couples on the steps of the County Courthouse in Wichita.