Shortly after a controversial sermon at Crossroads Church in Oakley, members of Cincinnati's LGBTQ+ community and their allies held a demonstration outside the church, aimed at getting Crossroads to denounce anti-trans comments recently made by a guest speaker.
On July 18, David Mahan gave a guest sermon at Crossroads
that included transphobic notions, angering local activists and even some members of the Crossroads congregation, people have told CityBeat
Mahan is the policy director at the Center for Christian Virtue in Columbus, which "seeks the good of our neighbors by advocating for public policy that reflects the truth of the Gospel," according to its website.
"If you have a child struggling with gender dysphoria and you go to a clinic in this area, eventually youll get down to brass tacks on if you want a dead daughter or a live son," WCPO-TV reports Mahan as saying in his sermon
, which was scheduled to be repeated three times that day.
Amy McKenzie, a Reading resident, tells CityBeat
that she was distraught when she'd heard about Mahan's sermon. In response, she began organizing an LGBTQ-affirming demonstration that took place Sunday, July 25, near Crossroads
. Jack Crofts, a Hyde Park resident who is active on LGBTQ+ issues, agreed with McKenzie and organized another July 25 demonstration that then joined with McKenzies.
Brian Tome, senior pastor at Crossroads, tells CityBeat
via email that bringing Mahan in for a guest sermon was a mistake, adding that Crossroads will research speakers better in the future and will have church leaders tackle what he says are "sensitive topics."
"We shouldn't have had an outside speaker come in who works for a polarizing organization that weve never previously partnered with and do not support. It was a huge miss for us," Tome says. "As the senior pastor I should have been the first person to talk on that topic since we never have."
Tome says that Crossroads' leadership had seen a slightly different address from Mahan ahead of the visit.
"We aren't disavowing everything in the talk but there should have been adjustments and it should have been from one of our pastors," Tome says.
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Photos by Mary LeBus