OKLAHOMA (CNN NEWS) — An Oklahoma man says he was held down and punched inside a church, all in an attempt to pray the gay away. Now the church is under investigation.
Sean Cormie: “I’m trying to hold my tears in right now, but it’s real hard.”
Sean Cormie still traumatized by what he says happened inside the First Assembly of God Church in Blackwell.
The 23-year-old came out as gay this past spring, since then, he says his family has been asking him and his partner to join them at the church.
Cormie says, “I wanted to go to church to make my mom proud and make her happy.”
Everything was normal until the end of the service when Sean said the pastor started preaching about homosexuality.
Cormie: “it’s a sin, it’s an abomination, you need to realize- wake up, and see it for a sin.”
That’s when sean says about 15 members of the congregation circled around him and his partner, Gary Gardner.
Gary Gardner says, “I was so embarrassed that day. I felt about two inches tall when they started all this.”
They got up to leave, but Gary was pushed out alone, while sean says he was held down by the group, as they tried to ‘pray the gay away.’
He says one person even punched him in the face.
Cornie says, “so much adrenaline I didn’t even know what to do. I was at a loss for words, my heart was torn apart.”
As soon as they let him go, he made a report with the Blackwell police.
Ever since then, he says he’s been getting threats from strangers to drop the issue, even pushed by family members who he believes set him up.
Cormie says, “everything has a root of evil and everything has a start, like it says in the bible.”
Pastors Bill and Tami McKissick said in a statement in part: Our church would never condone restraint of any person unless they were engaged in violent activity. There is much more to this incident, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement to hopefully bring all of the facts to light as a rush to judgment is not in anyone’s best interest.
Sean says he can forgive, but there must be consequences.
Cormie says, “I love the pastors with all my heart, but what they did was totally wrong and I want some kind of consequences out of it and I want it to be heard and known because it really saddens my heart.”
The Blackwell police chief declined to comment saying it’s an ongoing investigation.
Sean Cormie says he’s now trying to find a church that will accept him without judgment.