Gay Tennessee Couple Says Church Officials Assaulted Them to Prevent Attendance at Service: VIDEO

Pittman

Jerry Pittman Jr. and his partner Dustin Lee were assaulted last week when they tried to attend a church service at Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland, Tennessee, according to reports.

Pittman Jr. says his father, who is the church's pastor, instructed two deacons and Pittman's uncle to attack the couple and physically prevent them from attending the church service.

WBBJ reports:

"My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad's request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn't help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back," said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

The couple says they were not allowed to press charges at the time of the incident, either.

Assault charges have now been filed against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy and Pittman Jr.'s  father and Deacon Patrick Flatt. All are scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I say again...

    You can take the Christian out of the Klan, but you can't take the Klan out of the Christian.

    Posted by: StaticTheFox | Oct 3, 2011 9:27:20 AM


  2. Pretty much what I expect from Christians these days

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 3, 2011 9:31:42 AM


  3. I really love it when the christians insist that this is not true christian behavior.
    Almost as much fun as when they say this couple provoked the reaction by coming to church while gay.

    Posted by: enough already | Oct 3, 2011 9:51:12 AM


  4. Too many church people treat the religion like an exclusive club.

    Posted by: Albert | Oct 3, 2011 9:53:02 AM


  5. It's very sad to see so called Christians acting like thugs.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Oct 3, 2011 9:54:55 AM


  6. Sad, sad, sad. As It's been said by my husband who's religious, Jesus would be at a gay bar. Not these hypocritical churches.

    Posted by: Jacob Z Flores | Oct 3, 2011 9:56:50 AM


  7. Man this weird thing happened to me the other day, I ran in front of highway without looking and almost got hit! oh and there was that time when I ran into burning build and almost got burned!

    Posted by: James | Oct 3, 2011 9:59:46 AM


  8. To you Albert I say... Amen!

    Posted by: Rocky | Oct 3, 2011 10:00:05 AM


  9. There is obviously a lot more to this story--a prologue of many years. My heart breaks for what the couple experienced and I absolutely condemn what occurred.

    I do confess to being a little perplexed why this couple would want to go to church, and why this particular church, and why on a Wednesday? But like I said, there's a lot of background to this story that we didn't see.

    Posted by: Matt | Oct 3, 2011 10:01:05 AM


  10. Write off your family, guys. They don't want you and you're better off without them. Get out of there.

    Posted by: justinw | Oct 3, 2011 10:01:56 AM


  11. Tennessee+fundamentalism. Horrific story, but sadly, not surprising.

    The biggest issue I have when it comes to religion and religious followers in general is, I already knew plenty of these fundies were total bigots and use religion to justify that, but those who say they aren't or aren't legitimately, for the most part don't say anything or do anything as a way to combat actions such as this. They don't take a stand and speak out against this sort of hate, it happens under their noses and in front of their faces, and nothing is done. And that ultimately is one of the main reasons it continues and will continue. Because not many who identify as religious and not total bigots care enough to do their part to prevent their sects' continued terrible representation to the public and continued war against LGBT individuals.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 3, 2011 10:04:16 AM


  12. Listen to that video again and see if you can pick up the part where the Sheriff hadn't yet talked to the Deputy who investigated the incident and whouldn't allow them to press charges, but was already defending his inaction and attempting to turn the incident around on the victims as the ones who may have caused the incident to take place in the first place.

    Unbelievable!

    And don't get me started on what I think about the pastor and his "Christian" thugs.

    Love the sinner, hate the sin my ass!

    Posted by: mytwocents | Oct 3, 2011 10:06:00 AM


  13. To me seems more like a family feud than anything else. I'm not surprised at the way the Christians acted but lets be honest he probably knew it before he wasn't welcome there. To go to a church where you know you are not welcome to me it is a bit silly. Especially that there are some churches out there who welcome gays...

    Posted by: Marius | Oct 3, 2011 10:07:03 AM


  14. family values.

    Posted by: kodiak | Oct 3, 2011 10:11:18 AM


  15. @kodiak family values, or lack there of

    Posted by: the woodrow | Oct 3, 2011 10:22:16 AM


  16. HIS OWN FATHER????

    Horrific.

    Posted by: Joseph Klock | Oct 3, 2011 10:24:18 AM


  17. Sure, it's a family issue. And it's almost certainly about the pastor having a problem with his son being gay. And even more about him bringing his boyfriend to his church. He probably thinks he is being embarrassed because his flock knows about it instead of keeping it a secret.

    Going there wasn't a smart idea, but that doesn't give these scumbags the right to beat them up.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 3, 2011 10:26:20 AM


  18. If what the boys say is true, (and these two dont look like the type to initiate a fist fight) this is a hate crime committed and endorsed by the church. Sorry "christians", but this behavior has been going as long as I can remember (just not as blatant or open) and why I will never trust or join your demented little club.

    I dont care why the boys were there on a wednesday, why they wanted to go to church or if it was a "family fued", being beaten by deacons of a church on church property at the request of the pastor is ... I dont even have the words to describe it!! Its just effin WRONG! Even if they 'provoked' the attack by having the nerve to show up, it's still WRONG! One does have the free will to choose or not to choose to physically attack another person. If the pastor thought the boys were there to start trouble then he should have called the police to handle it and escort them away.

    Im not religious but even I can see that this church (and many others) is NOT about Jesus or about being a christian and if members dont speak out against this then they all deserve whatever they get. Karma is real.

    Posted by: chica63 | Oct 3, 2011 10:41:31 AM


  19. Those 2 gay guys have completely misinterpreted what happened. Christians love homosexuals so much! We are all they think about. That's how much they care. So this couldn't have been an assault. It was just their way of sharing Christ's love.

    Posted by: Dave | Oct 3, 2011 10:44:34 AM


  20. I wonder how these animals can stand in front of anyone and profess themselves to be Christians.

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 3, 2011 10:47:44 AM


  21. What a fine, upstanding Christian and Father-figure this excuse for a man is. He's merely a sperm donor - not a father. The son owes nothing to him at this point. Where's the mother and the rest of the family in all this or is this one of those freakish Westboro Baptist cult churches where the head male is the preacher and lord to the clan??

    If the son is pushing the hot buttons as a way to embarrass the church and his father - he should STOP. It won't repair familial decay or truly fix anything. Let the preacher and his followers take this up with a higher power they, given their actions, obviously have no concept of. This is on their heads and hearts now to reckon and seek forgiveness for. It will haunt them forever.

    To the son, GET OUT NOW. You have a huge loving and accepting Family out here and you deserve better.

    Posted by: RuralGay | Oct 3, 2011 10:52:45 AM


  22. "Science flies you to the moon, Religion flies you into buildings". This is what happens when you try to attend the Fairy Tale Theater.

    Posted by: DearComrade | Oct 3, 2011 10:53:43 AM


  23. Terrible story, but to any who want to paint all Christians as hateful bigots, please know that there are many churches who would gladly welcome and embrace these two young men. Not in an effort to change them, but to accept and love them for who they are while acknowledging their relationship. I know it's easy to say all Christians are right wing nuts when you read stuff like this, but there are many Christians who are horrified by the type of behavior exhibited by the men who assaulted these guys. The Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Presbyterian Church USA have changed their policies to allow the ordination of gay clergy. In the United Methodist Church, while there is a certainly a conservative element, and some official church policies on gays that make liberal Methodists cringe, there are many churches that gladly welcome all people to their church and have become "Reconciling Congregations." Finally, not to be Protestant-centric, there are also some Roman Catholic churches who disagree with official church teachings on homosexuality and have declared themselves welcoming to all people. Check out www.gaychurch.org for more information.

    Posted by: Frank | Oct 3, 2011 10:58:05 AM


  24. Fruitland, Tenn. Is this a joke?

    Posted by: maxx e padd | Oct 3, 2011 11:17:15 AM


  25. This is what blind ignorance does to people. If God is Love, then these ill-informed people are not of God. The are, more likely, misguided by their negative egos. Wake up people.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 3, 2011 11:27:21 AM


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