MEDFORD (CBS) – A controversial sign in Medford sparked dueling protests along Salem Street Friday.
“This is a message of God’s truth and us trying to reveal it to our community,” said Pastor Joseph Hawkins of New England Baptist Church.READ MORE: NH State Police Release Video Of SUV Wanted In Hit And Run That Killed Retired Sgt. Donna Briggs
Pastor Hawkins’ sign about gender identity read:
“MALE AND FEMALE
CREATED HE THEM.
GENDER IDENTITY SOLVED.”
That message isn’t sitting well with the non-binary community who don’t identify as male or female. They showed up by the dozens in protest coming face-to-face with churchgoers.
“The sign itself isn’t being inclusive and it’s not the representation of Medford,” said Jonathan Dallas, who identifies as non-binary.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
It was a peaceful protest, but the LGBTQA community in Medford told WBZ-TV that the message the church posted makes them feel unsafe and unwelcome in the city.
“The message encourages other people to act on it, that if you don’t belong to male or female gender like somebody like myself that’s in between… If I’m walking down the street, is someone following me and will try something,” questioned Jonathan Dallas.
Pastor Hawkins said they’re not preaching hate or violence, but God’s truth.
“It’s almost hypocritical that they can present their world view and we can’t,” said Hawkins.
While Medford’s mayor believes it’s time that people be more accepting of one another.MORE NEWS: It Happens Here: Dunstable's Little Red Schoolhouse Is An Up-Close Lesson In History
“It’s time for all to know that love is love,” said Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn. “Everybody should be able to love who or how they want.”