Gay man says someone punched him as church tried to pray away his sexuality

Man says church members tried to pray gay away

BLACKWELL, Okla. (KFOR/CNN) - Sean Cormie is still traumatized by what he claims happened inside the First Assembly of God Church in Blackwell.

"I’m trying to hold my tears in right now, but it`s real hard," Cormie said.

The 23-year-old came out as gay this past spring. Since then, he said his family has been asking him and his partner to join them at the church.

"I wanted to go to church to make my mom proud and make her happy," Cormie explained.

Everything was normal until the end of the service when Cormie said the pastor started preaching about homosexuality.

“It`s a sin. It`s an abomination. You need to realize, wake up, and see it for a sin,” Cormie said, recalling the pastor’s words.

That's when Cormei said about 15 members of the congregation circled around him and his partner, Gary Gardner.

“I was so embarrassed that day,” Gardner said. “I felt about 2 inches tall when they started all this.”

They got up to leave, Cormie said he was held down by the group as they tried to pray the gay away.

He said one person even punched him in the face.

“So much adrenaline, I didn`t even know what to do,” Cormie said. “I was at a loss for words, my heart was torn apart."

As soon after they let him go, he made a report with the police department.

Since then, he said he's been getting threats from strangers to drop the issue. He said he’s even been pressured by family members, who he believes set him up.

“Everything has a root of evil and everything has a start, like it says in the Bible," Cormie said.

Pastors Bill and Tami McKissick released a statement that reads, in part:

“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.”

Cormie said he can forgive, but there must be consequences.

“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 and I want it to be heard and known because it really saddens my heart,” Cormie said.

The Blackwell police chief declined to comment, saying it's an ongoing investigation.

Cormie said he’s now trying to find a church that will accept him without judgment.

Copyright 2019 KFOR via CNN. All rights reserved.