Cape Coral Pastor Under Fire for Controversial Social Media Post about Law Calling for Execution of Gays
An Introduction to the Controversy
A Cape Coral pastor, Rev. Wayne “Dusty” Dunnington, is facing a wave of backlash from the LGBTQ community over a social media post he made regarding a law that calls for the execution of gay people. Dunnington, a pastor at the Discovery Church, sparked outrage on Facebook when he shared a post about Brunei’s new penal code, which includes the death penalty for same-sex relations.
Dunnington’s post, which was later deleted, read: “Brunei is very Wise to Put Homosexuals to Death.” Many people quickly called out the pastor for his comments, with some even demanding that he step down from his position.
The Controversial Law in Brunei
The law that Dunnington was referring to is Brunei’s revised penal code, which was implemented in April of this year. The new code includes death by stoning as the punishment for same-sex relations, along with other harsh penalties for crimes such as theft and adultery.
The implementation of this law has sparked international outrage and calls for a boycott of Brunei-owned businesses. Many people have also taken to social media to express their frustration and sadness over the harsh punishment for something as personal as one’s sexual orientation.
Dunnington’s Response to Backlash
After receiving backlash for his post, Dunnington released a statement on Facebook, where he tried to clarify his comments. He stated that he “doesn’t believe that anyone should be killed for their sexual orientation” and that he “didn’t know the full extent of the law before commenting.”
Despite his attempts to clarify his position, many people were still unhappy with Dunnington’s initial comments and continued to call for him to resign from his role at the Discovery Church.
Reaction from the LGBTQ Community
Unsurprisingly, the LGBTQ community was particularly vocal in condemning Dunnington’s comments. Many activists and advocates were quick to speak out against the pastor’s words and expressed their disappointment that someone in a position of leadership could hold such views.
One victim of the controversial law in Brunei, gay man Nabeel Azeez, tweeted at Dunnington saying “I survived death by stoning. Try telling me that Brunei is wise.” Azeez, who was born in Brunei and fled the country to avoid persecution, is just one of many people who have voiced their concerns over the law and the harm it could cause.
The Response from the Church
The Discovery Church, where Dunnington is a pastor, has yet to release an official statement regarding the social media post. However, many members of the church have been quick to distance themselves from Dunnington’s comments.
Some have even started a Change.org petition calling for the pastor to be fired, arguing that his views are not representative of the church’s values. The petition has gained over 1,000 signatures at the time of writing, demonstrating the level of concern over the issue.
The Broader Debate about LGBTQ Rights
While Dunnington’s comments may seem extreme, they are unfortunately not uncommon in many parts of the world. There are still over 70 countries where homosexuality is illegal, and even in countries where it is legal, discrimination, hate crimes, and exclusion remain prevalent.
The debate over LGBTQ rights is far from over and requires ongoing efforts from all kinds of people and organizations to ensure that people are treated fairly and with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
A Conclusion to the Controversy
Dunnington’s social media post and subsequent controversy show just how important it is to be mindful of the words we use and how they can affect others. While the pastor may have made attempts to clarify his views, the initial post has caused harm and damage in a community that is already facing significant challenges.
The incident also highlights the ongoing need for advocacy and awareness-raising around LGBTQ issues, both in the United States and around the world. By engaging in these conversations, we can work towards greater acceptance, inclusion, and equality for all people, regardless of who they love.