Pence attends sermon where bishop says 'demonic spirit' is behind homosexual attraction

Vice President Pence on Sunday delivered remarks at a sermon where a bishop said a “demonic spirit” is behind homosexual attraction. 

Pence visited Memphis, Tenn., over the weekend to deliver an address at the Holy City Church of God In Christ ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

During his address, video of which was streamed on the White House YouTube channel, Pence urged congregants of the church to reflect on the late civil rights icon’s legacy and remember how King “challenged the conscience of a nation to live up to our highest ideals by speaking to our common foundation of faith.”

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“I know in my heart of hearts if we rededicate ourselves to the ideals that he advanced, if we strive to open doors of opportunities for every American and if we more faithfully follow the one that he followed, will see our way through these divided times,” he also said.

Not long after Pence concluded his remarks, Bishop Jerry Wayne Taylor, the founder of the Pentecostal church, took the stage to deliver a sermon, which he used in part to speak out against what he described to be a “demonic spirit that causes a man to be attracted to another man.”

“We have to encourage young men and women to get married,” he said. “It’s a demonic spirit that causes a woman to want to lie with another woman. It’s a demonic spirit that causes a man to be attracted to another man.”

“God didn’t make us for that. He made a man to be a man,” he continued, adding moments later, “You never see two male animals coming together.”

“We’ve got to expose what the devil is doing,” he said. 

Pence’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill about the service.

GLAAD took aim at Pence for appearing at the event in a statement to NBC News on Tuesday, saying, “Wish we could say we were surprised that the Vice President spoke at a church event where the bishop spouted vile things about LGBTQ people. But here we are.” 

Charlotte Clymer, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, also slammed Pence for appearing at the event in a statement to NBC News and accused him of using his "perception of faith as a cudgel against vulnerable communities."

"Christ clearly taught us to love one another," she added.