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‘Pop-up Pride’ event planned in response to controversial Crossroads speaker

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 10:17 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2021 at 11:12 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A ‘pop-up Pride’ event is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Sunday at the Crossroads Church in Oakley following a controversial guest speaker.

Last Sunday, David Mahan, director of policy with Center for Christian Virtue, spoke at Crossroads about gender identity and transitioning. The church had not taken a public stance on either issue before.

Amy McKenzie, the organizer of the pop-up Pride event, says she has a gay son and she cried when she heard David Mahan’s message.

“I don’t recommend he come here, and as a mom, it hurts my heart for the kids who may have been in the audience, and it’s heartbreaking as a parent to know that there may have been kids who heard that message and felt hurt,” said McKenzie.

She says she wants the pop-up Pride event to bring people together to show the LGBTQ+ community that Christians can be allies.

“It really just broke my heart in a way that I couldn’t believe,” said McKenzie.

Crossroads Senior Pastor Brian Tome said in a statement to FOX19 they shouldn’t have had an outside speaker who works for a polarizing organization that they hadn’t previously partnered with and don’t support. He says it was a huge miss for the church.

“We have no official statement on children transitioning to a different sex prior to puberty, and people at Crossroads have differing beliefs about these things. This talk was meant to present ideas that we may not be hearing to challenge people to think through a different lens than their social media echo chambers provide, not to outline a stance from Crossroads,” said Tome.

He said, “We do love, welcome, and support the LGBTQ+ community. We don’t shame or guilt anyone into changing anything.”

However, he went on to say that as a historically orthodox Christian church, “there are some things we do and some things we won’t do.”

“We do baptize the children of same-sex parents who are a part of our church, but we won’t perform that couple’s wedding. We don’t perform conversion therapy in our church. We know that this sounds inconsistent to some, but we are prayerfully trying to honor God as we understand Him,” Tome said.

He also said he regrets not being the first to talk about gender identity in front of the church.

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