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THANKS to the generosity of the gay community, a Texas couple has been rehoused following abuse they suffered in their home town of Clarendon, a hotbed of homophobia.

 

When the pair, Jeremy Jeffers and Joshua Harrison, became the target of homophobic abuse – the words “leave of die” were daubed on their home – they contacted the media because they felt that the death threat and vandalism they’d suffered were being ignored by local police.

 

Jeffers said of the plods:

 

They walked around and took our statement, but they didn’t offer to set up a patrol or bother to ask any questions around the neighborhood. We went to the media because we knew that if our story got out, then people might be aware of what happened, so would be hesitant to physically attack us.

The couple were targeted after a local paper, the Clarendon Enterprise, carried a hateful piece about "the gay agenda" written by Chris Moore, pastor at the Clarendon Church of Christ. He warned:

Folks, don’t be fooled, the ‘gay’ agenda isn’t about ‘equal’ rights for gay couples. Their agenda would force everyone to compromise their values, make our children legal prey for pedophiles.

But the media attention only made matters worse, and further alienated the couple from Clarendon’s small, close-knit, close-minded population of bigots.

 

The local cleaning service where Harrison worked began losing clients, resulting in loss of employment for Harrison. Additionally, the couple says they’d been refused service at some local establishments and verbally abused at others.

 

Then an LGBTQ blog, Owldolatrous Press, stepped in with a "Donations" button at the end of the follow-up story, prompting donors from across the country to contribute to help the couple leave Clarendon.

 

LGBT Advocacy Group Equality Texas also assisted the couple in their search for jobs and

housing in nearby Amarillo, Texas which has a small but thriving gay community.

The couple subsequently received $2,690 in donations and the keys to their new apartment where they are grateful to be out of harm’s way, yet still close to family and friends.

The couple said that their recent trials have only brought them closer together as a pair.

Sometimes the stress gets to us, but we’ve bonded together in so many ways because of this.

They expressed gratitude for the many statements of support and encouragement they’ve received.

The support of the gay community has been amazing. For a while I was wondering if we were really a community or a family anymore. And the gay community reaching out. We were so scared. It’s nice to know that we’re not alone.

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