Florida Church Wanted Police Protection for 'Make America Straight Again' Conference, They Refused

A church in Florida is due to hold a so-called "Make America Straight Again" conference just days after the three-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

The Revival Baptist Church in Clermont is planning on holding the three-day event from June 14-16 at an unknown location.

It is scheduled to be held just two days after the anniversary of the mass shooting at gay nightclub Pulse, which left 49 people dead in 2016 around 20 miles away in Orlando.

In a video promoting the conference "exposing the reprobates," Pastor Patrick Boyle said several guest speakers who have already been known to "take a stand against the sodomites and the filth that they have been spreading" will be at the conference.

The list of speakers includes anti-LGBT preacher Steven Anderson who recently became the first person to be banned from Ireland by exclusion powers having already been barred from entering the Netherlands because his sermons have been deemed to constitute hate speech.

Sacramento preacher Roger Jimenez is also scheduled to make an appearance. In the promo video for the event, a recording of Jimenez giving a speech plays in which he admits thinking gay people and pedophiles are the same thing and that he was not upset over the Pulse massacre.

"I'm not sad when pedophiles and rapists die," he adds. "I don't shed a tear over it, because I know what they do."

Speaking to Fox 35 Orlando, Boyle denied that the Pulse shooting anniversary was significant for the event, adding that they are holding it to coincide with Gay Pride month.

"It's their gay pride month in Orlando and they're out there advocating their cause. We have every right to advocate ours," said Boyle.

Boyle added he expects around 300 people to attend the event. A counter-protest is also scheduled to take place against the anti-gay conference.

"We need to send a message out that in this city of all times, of all cities of all time periods, we need to put a message out that love is greater and love is better," C.K. Blackwood, who is organizing a protest, told Fox 35 Orlando.

In a statement, the Lake County Sheriff's Office confirmed that they refused a request from the church for their deputies to be deployed at the conference for protection.

"First, it appears as though the organization disparages homosexuals and will be targeting them during the group's conference this week," a spokesperson added.

"Furthermore, the fact that the timing of this conference coincides with the three-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in nearby Orlando did not go unnoticed by our staff. We felt as though the timing of the conference is in poor taste and we chose not to allow the group to hire our deputies.

"We are, however, aware of the potential for protests and are currently discussing the possibility of an increased presence in general for the event in order to ensure everything remains peaceful."

Boyle said he has now hired private security for the event.

pulse shooting
A woman lights a candle during a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, on June 13, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Florida is holding a “Make America Straight Again” conference just days after the three-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre. Getty/Daniel Munoz
Florida Church Wanted Police Protection for 'Make America Straight Again' Conference, They Refused | News