Mo. County Orders Year of 'Mourning' Over Gay Marriage

Dent County officials vote to lower flags below half-staff to protest gay nuptials
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2015 9:35 AM CDT
Mo. County Orders Year of 'Mourning' Over Gay Marriage
Missouri county getting ready to mourn?   (Shutterstock)

When Alex Sellers saw the story in his local paper, he thought it was an Onion article. But the 26-year-old Missouri man was horrified to find out what he was reading was true: Three Republican commissioners in Dent County voted yesterday to lower county flags to half-staff to observe a year of "mourning" after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage on June 26, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The ruling mandates that on the 26th of each month until June 2016, all Dent County Courthouse and Judicial Building flags be lowered to "below half-staff," the Salem News reports. After the commissioners agreed to the mourning period, Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles filed a letter into public record lambasting "the US high court's stamp of approval of what God speaks of as an abomination." Skiles' letter, obtained by a News reporter at the meeting for the vote, said the lowering of the flags would remind all of "this despicable Supreme Court travesty."

"It ain't what our Bible tells us. It's against God's plan," Commissioner Gary Larson elaborated, per the Post-Dispatch. When Sellers found out about the scheme, however, he started a petition on "This political showcase is hurtful personally to several residents of Dent County and the surrounding area, which seems counter-intuitive to Jesus Christ's message of 'love thy neighbor' for those of the Christian faith, of which most, if not all, of the commissioners prescribe," the petition reads. "Even if this doesn't change [the commissioners'] minds, I wanted it out there that we're not all a bunch of closed-minded individuals," Sellers adds to the Post-Dispatch. His petition and all the publicity may have worked: Per the News, Skiles says the three commissioners will likely meet today or tomorrow to rescind the vote "out of respect for veterans and those currently serving in the military." (Discriminating against gay marriage cost this bakery $135,000.)

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