This Oklahoma pastor believes gay marriage causes mass shootings

The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, which left 17 people dead, started a national debate about gun control. However, this one Oklahoma-based pastor believes it’s actually gay marriage that causes mass shootings.

What happened?

Delivering a sermon on the Oklahoma State Senate floor on Thursday, 1 March, pastor Bill Ledbetter of the Fairview Baptist Church spoke for 15 minutes and stirred up controversy.

Ledbetter called for a return to America’s ‘foundation principles’ and blamed gay marriage for recent mass shootings and natural disasters.

‘Do we really believe that we can tell God to get lost from our school and our halls of legislation and there be no response? Do we really believe we can redefine marriage from the word of God to something in our own minds and there not be a response?’

During the sermon, some lawmakers walked out.


‘This morning, Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Fairview Baptist Church in Durant, who has served as guest chaplain for the week at the invitation of Senator Josh Brecheen, delivered a sermon which was hateful and promoted his personal political agenda,’ said Senate Minority Leader John Sparks in a statement.

‘There is no place for intolerance and hate in the Senate Chamber or anywhere else in Oklahoma. As senators we were elected to serve all people in Oklahoma and we should not condone or encourage divisive rhetoric which targets any Oklahoman.’

Democrats are calling for an apology from Ledbetter and for Senate leadership to ensure future guest pastors are respectful.

‘This was about bigotry and vitriol and hatred and further division in our society,’ said Troy Stevenson, executive director of LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma.

‘It’s not just awful because it insults marriage equality, it’s awful because he is invoking the name of dead teenagers and victims of horrible crimes around the country, and using that to further a political agenda. It’s disgusting.’

‘The grotesque drivel passed off as a religious devotional by Bill Ledbetter today in the Oklahoma State Senate can hardly be reduced to an issue of lax decorum by a legislative body with such an abysmal track record on equality,’ said Oklahoma ACLU Executive Director Ryan Kiesel.

Kiesel also previously served as a state representative.

‘These remarks fall so far out of the confines of rational thought that swift and strong condemnation is the only reasonable response.’

Oklahoma News 4 contacted Ledbetter by phone for comment. He said his sermon was ‘not meant to be hateful’ and declined to discuss the incident further.

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