A Harlem neighbourhood is standing up to a pastor for displaying homophobic messages on his church's billboard.
Pastor James Manning, who discovered his devout Christian faith during a stretch in prison, used one of his most recent signs to claim: "Homosexuals are spreading disease by washing dishes."
When a group of reporters and residents confronted Manning on camera, he insisted he was spreading love, not hate.
Another sign reading: "All churches and members that support homos cursed be thou with cancer, HIV, syphilus, stroke, madness, itch... then hell," prompted angry residents to demand answers from Manning.
During the heated encounter, Pastor Manning was forced to admit that he himself had experienced homosexual urges.
Manning was also taken to task for his insistence that his offensive messages are permitted under the Freedom of Speech act. "This is clearly hate speech and you are inciting violence," one woman cried.
The pastor also made controversial remarks about the "influx of white people moving to Harlem", stating on one of his billboards: "White people are moving into Harlem for 'Black Meat'."
As well as delivering a stream of homophobic abuse, Pastor Manning has also found time to steer a hate campaign against President Obama, with one sign reading: "Jesus released cancer on Obama and Obama has released homo demons on America."
Useful websites and helplines:
- London Lesbian & Gay switchboard (LLGS) is a free confidential support & information helpline for LGBT communities throughout the UK | 0300 330 0630
- Manchester Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is a free support, information and referral service for the Manchester and North-West area | 0161 235 8000
- Stonewall for more information on other LGBT services and helplines | 08000 502020