WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington church’s sign is still making news. Seagate Community Chapel’s sign has been making waves since last week when it was first posted. Now, the sign is in pieces, and police are looking for who’s to blame.
The sign warning homosexuals to “turn or burn” was peacefully protested Sunday morning and broken Sunday night.
The sign at Seagate Community Chapel in Wilmington usually welcomes folks into the church. But it’s been the focus of protests for an anti-gay message, which led to vandalism over the weekend.
Rachel Clary attended the peaceful protest Sunday morning. She says she never thought things would go this far.
“It was really, really disappointing,” Clary said. “We felt that it kind of took away from the entire message that we were trying to put out there like respond to this message of hate with a message of love and peace, and for someone to decide to completely really undermine that and not join with us but instead try to get that message out in a violent way, we felt that was completely inappropriate.”
Clary says she was offended by the sign, and she says she is not alone, but she cannot believe that it was destroyed. She says the protestors’ interaction with the church was non-confrontational, and that’s exactly what they had planned.
“We just wanted to send a peaceful message,” Clary said. “Everyone was really on board with that from the very beginning.”
Wilmington Pride president T.R. Nunley says ever since Nunley first found out about the sign, Nunley knew something had to be done, but Nunley never thought it would be criminal.
“We absolutely knew we needed to do something, but we didn’t want it to be that kind of violence,” Nunley said.
Nunley says, if anything, this sign just proves that there is still more work to be done to gain equality. Nunley says that Seagate Community Chapel may think homosexuals must turn or burn, but Nunley does not agree.
“They had their message, and we have ours,” she said. “You know, being gay is OK.”
We tried to contact Seagate Community Chapel this afternoon to get their take on the vandalism, but we not heard back.
The Wilmington Police Department says it is looking into the crime.