A large group of demonstrators showed up Sunday outside the California church where a pastor praised the Orlando attack just hours after 49 people were murdered in a gay nightclub.
At least 1,000 people protested Pastor Roger Jimenez at his Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento on Sunday, many of them waving pro-LGBT signs and rainbow flags as parishioners struggled to maneauver through.
— Sara Zendehnam (@szendehnam) June 19, 2016
Jimenez is seen a YouTube video of his June 12 sermon calling the clubgoers who were killed at the Pulse nightclub "pedophiles" whose deaths have made the world a safer place.
On the Facebook page where the protest, and a smaller one that took place Wednesday, was organized, an organizer wrote:
"Our community is built on love and trust. We have our intra-social issues as any other community does, however we can band together when our community is hit with intolerance, indecency, hatred, ignorance, and blatant bigotry."
In the YouTube video, which he posted the same day that police say Omar Mateen mowed down dozens of clubgoers with an AR-15 style weapon, Jimenez wondered aloud to his congregation "Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?"
— myki angel.ine (@MykiAngeline) June 19, 2016
"Um – no – I think that's great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight."
A week later, at least a few protesters had to be dragged from the church by authorities as the LGBT community in Sacramento and neighboring areas showed up in force.
Following his sermon, Jimenez defiantly address the press.
"We had a record-breaking attendance here this morning," the pastor told reporters outside his church. "Normally we have about 200 people...today we had 281.
"And I just wanted to thank the media for all the free publicity."
See Orlando vigils and tributes around the world: