An Oklahoma man says members of a church his family attends held him down and tried to pray away his homosexuality.
The incident happened this month at First Assembly of God Church in Blackwell, about 100 miles north of Oklahoma City, according to TV station KFOR.
At the end of church services, Sean Cormie and his partner Gary Gardner claim about a dozen congregants surrounded them and began praying loudly. At the same time, a pastor allegedly made anti-gay statements. Cormie says someone even punched him in the face.
"They hold me down, pin me down, and I’m crying, and the Holy Spirit just comes through me, and they keep speaking in tongues, praying over me," Cormie said. "I was just crying 'mercy, mercy.'"
Cormie says he later filed a report with Blackwell police. The church, in a written statement obtained by KFOR, said it was cooperating with authorities.
"On behalf of First Assembly we have been asked by the media to respond to the allegations that have been made," the statement said. "This began as a family matter that escalated. Our church would never condone restraint of any person unless they were engaged in violent activity. There is much more to this incident, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement to hopefully bring all of the facts to light as a rush to judgment is not in anyone's best interest."
Blackwell police would not discuss the case with KFOR. Cormie says he hopes those involved in the incident are held accountable.
"I love the pastors with all my heart, but what they did was totally wrong, and I want some kind of consequences out of it," he said. "I want it to be heard and known because it really saddens my heart."