CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side church with a history of civil rights activism is now at the center of controversy.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres reports that this comes after the Woodlawn church, the Apostolic Church of God, took away the membership of a parishioner for marrying her female partner.
As a result, a group of LGBT activists came together Sunday to speak out.
“Her grandmother was a member, her mother was a member and she was a member for 30 years. All of this ended last week because she made the decision to marry her partner,” said Pastor Jamie Frazier, a community activist.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBS 2 that she felt hurt after she says “Pastor Byron Brazier publicly shamed and humiliated” her during last Sunday’s sermon.
The sermon was posted on Facebook, but was later removed. The group Chic Chic’s Social recorded it.
“A prominent member of this church married a woman of the same sex,” Rev. Brazier can be heard saying in the sermon. “I spoke to her earlier, late last week, and explained the church’s position on gay marriage, which she knew. She understood, and she accepted that she could no longer be a member of the Apostolic Church of God.”
Maxwell Brown, president of Chic Chic’s Social, helped organized Sunday’s protest.
“This cannot be tolerated. You cannot discriminate against anyone because God loves all people. Love is love,” she said.
The Apostolic Church of God was founded in Chicago 85 years ago and currently has 20,000 members. President Barack Obama delivered a key speech there during the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Sunday morning, Pastor Brazier acknowledged the protest, saying, “We recognize that there are those in this country who have different beliefs, that there are those that came to protest. But we came to worship.”
Pastor Brazier also told the congregation that this woman is welcome to visit the church at anytime, despite no longer being a member. To that, the woman said “no thanks.”