If you don’t know Kathy Baldock, you should. She’s a straight evangelical Christian who works very hard to bridge the divide between the LGBT community and evangelical Christian churches. Unlike many others who claim to be trying to do that very same thing, though, Baldock tells it like it is — she proclaims loud and proud that anti-LGBT Christian churches are wrong about their hurtful beliefs, wrong to spread hatred and misinformation about LGBT people, wrong to propagate the dangerous and discredited “ex-gay” myth, and wrong to continue spiritually abusing LGBT people instead of apologizing to them and embracing them with open arms like their savior calls them to do.
She blogs at Canyonwalker Connections (bookmark it if you haven’t already done so — trust me, you’ll want to check back frequently!), visits Pride festivals with her Str8 Apology Ministry, speaks to and educates Christian groups, and travels to anti-gay protests and “ex-gay” conferences to respectfully but firmly challenge the toxic misinformation and un-Christian spiritual bullying presented there. She knows her stuff, she speaks the evangelicals’ language, she comes from a place of love, and she doesn’t quit. To be frank, Kathy is one of the LGBT community’s fiercest allies.
And she proved it yet again yesterday, when she was physically removed from an “ex-gay” seminar at Summit Christian Church in Sparks, Nevada. Kathy attended four of the seminar’s six sessions and made no secret of her presence there. To the contrary, she blogged about it last week and included a statement and question that she intended to respectfully read during Sunday’s Q&A session with the “ex-gay” speaker, Kent Paris. Her statement reads as follows:
Do you know the consequences of rejecting your gay youth as opposed to accepting them?
If parents with gay children were to follow the teachings and therapeutic tools offered by Kent Paris, your gay youth are EIGHT times more apt to attempt suicide than those gay youth who are accepted.
They may suffer depression SIX times more often than those who are accepted.
They are THREE times more likely to get involved in drug and alcohol abuse than those gay youth that are accepted.
They are THREE times more likely to contract HIV and/or STDs than accepted gay youth
This is research; this is scientific, peer reviewed research.
If you are the parent of a gay youth, when you leave here, stop on the way home and buy a package of razors, a bottle of whiskey, a hypodermic needle and a lifetime supply of antibiotics because that is the life you will more often impose on your gay child through your rejection and shaming.
This is what you will be doing to the child you have been charged to raise in the way they should go.
Do not try to force your child to be something they are not, something to your liking. You will not only be responsible for the effects on their mental and physical health, you will also, in all likelihood, push them from God.
Knowing Kathy was in the audience and aware of what she wanted to say, Paris and the church’s pastor apparently intended to talk right through the entire presentation, essentially removing the “Q” from Q&A. At ten minutes before the sessions scheduled ending time, they hadn’t yet begun to take questions. (Kathy reports that they were far more interested in discussing fisting, rimming, golden showers, etc.) An audience member raised her hand and asked if there would be any time for questions at all, and when the pastor responded with a tepid “Maybe…,” Kathy knew it was now or never. So she stood up, asked permission to make a brief statement, and introduced herself.
Before Baldock could get any further, five men with wires in their ears — two plainclothes police officers and three church security officers — came at her. Here’s what happened next:
Two men, one on either side of me told me it was time for me to leave. They grabbed my arms. One was behind me, doing the same.
I pulled away and said, “You see. Don’t touch me. Do not touch me. I would suggest you go to Canyonwalker Connections. Do not touch me. Do not touch me. Do not touch me. Do not touch me.” And of course they did and they were. I slowed them down, told them I would leave and wanted to get my belongings.
But, as I gathered my book, bag and coat, I kept talking.
“You parents with gay youth, if you follow the teachings of Ken Paris, you might as well stop on the way home and get them a bottle of whiskey and a hypodermic needle because that is what you are doing to them with your rejection. Visit Canyonwalker Connections. See what I wrote about Paris. Visit CanyonwalkerConnections.com”
At the same time, one man stepped between me and Mark Worsnop who was filming with his phone. Someone, it may have been the same man who blocked the filming, came behind Mark and put his knees into the back of Mark’s knees to collapse him over the chair. He too was escorted out. When you hear: “It’s called assault,” it is Mark speaking. He then told the guy, “Don’t do that again; I have fake knees.”
He too was dragged into the lobby.
How’s that for Christian charity and hospitality? Kudos to Kathy Baldock for going into the lion’s den to be a voice of reason and hope for the confused, frightened LGBT people attending that conference.
Check out Warsnop’s video of Baldock’s removal below, and please share it widely — let’s shame these agents of intolerance by making it go viral!