An evangelical Christian church that celebrated the Orlando massacre has been told to move out because of their pastor’s anti-gay speech. After protest against the church’s horrific teachings, they have been asked to leave their rented premises. The church had operated out of a building on Northgate Business Park, owned by Harsch Investment Properties. In a statement, Harsch Investment Properties confirmed the church had been informed its lease would not be renewed.
The statement reads: “Harsch Investment Properties, the owner of the Northgate Business Park, and all our staff are shocked and saddened by the tragic events in Orlando. Like all Americans, we grieve for the fallen and injured. In the 66 years since our company was founded, we have stood for the rights of all individuals, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, to live their lives and follow their dreams. We stand with those who make their voices heard: Intolerance and hate are not the values that have made our country great. We respect the right of every individual’s free speech, even when we disagree with their views. This is certainly the case with our tenant Verity Baptist Church and its Pastor Roger Jimenez. We have many places of worship and other religious organisations in the properties we manage. Like all our tenants, their occupancy rights are protected in their leases, but we will not tolerate tenants who advocate hatred and the taking of innocent lives. We communicated our views to Verity Baptist Church, and while their lease does not expire until 3/31/17, we have asked them to consider moving out of our business park, and we would immediately cancel their lease without any penalty to them”.