WICHITA, Kansas – Rev. Jackie Carter, a Wichita minister at First Metropolitan Community Church, says she has received death threats because of the gay weddings she has performed.
The calls have been escalating since the state’s ban on gay marriage was struck down by a federal judge last month.
Crazy things you can easily put out of your mind, like I’m going to chop your head off and put it on a stick and carry it around the town square.”
She says the threats have led to vandalism that has included broken windows. The church has even stepped up security.
“I’ve asked folks who support the church to help with purchasing cameras that we can have outside the building for the protection. We have a security company now.”
Carter says she wants to ignore the threats, but she is scared.
“When you’re here and the phone rings, and there’s heavy breathing and two seconds later the doorbell rings and then somebody’s throwing rocks through the windows. All those things combined create fear.”
That fear has led to changes during church services.
“We have people outside now on Sundays to make sure people get in safely. You shouldn’t have to do that. We’re in the United States where we pride ourselves on freedom,” she added.
Carter says despite the threats, she is going to keep working for her church and her congregation. Her belief in that on display last month when she performed a mass gay marriage ceremony on the steps of the Sedgwick County Courthouse.
“I’m not going to change my message of inclusion, I’m not going to change my message of love, and I’m not going to stop marrying people. I’m going to keep it up!” she adds. “This is ridiculous hatred that has no place in this city or state or this country,”