- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Vandals spray-painted a Bible passage that condemns homosexual sex on a church whose pastor and his partner were among the first gay couples to receive a marriage license in Richmond County.

Pastor Rick Sosbe said “Burn Leviticus 18:22 Lies” was painted across the front doors of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer on Tuesday, the Augusta Chronicle (https://bit.ly/1g5C4Ik) reported.

On the front steps was another passage with the words “You’ll Burn.”

“I was angry. I was very sad and I thought, ‘Just why?’ To me, it seems so interesting that they’re saying on there that you’ll burn - in other words saying ‘You’ll burn in hell,’ I’m sure - and quoting scripture. Is that what Christianity - right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity - has come to?” Sosbe said.

An incident report from the county’s sheriff’s office estimates damages at $2,500.



Public Information Officer Lt. Allan Rollins said officers will remain vigilant of strange activity because there have been a couple of incidents at the church.

Almost three weeks ago, a rainbow flag was stolen from the front of the Augusta church.

Sosbe said he believes Tuesday’s vandalism and the flag incident are a reaction to his and the church’s increased presence in the media because of the legalization of marriage equality.

Sosbe and his partner, Michael Rehn, were married June 30, four days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all states.

Sosbe said he plans to discuss purchasing security cameras with the church’s board.

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