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(NECN) - A Catholic parish in the Diocese of Fall River has become the object of threats of violence and vandalism after a sign posted on church property supported the 'traditional' definition of marriage.
On Tuesday, Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet displayed a message on the church's billboard reading: "Two men are friends, not spouses."
Steve Guillotte, Director of Pastoral Services for Saint Francis Xavier, in an interview with Boston's FOX 25 News, said the church has received a number of menacing, obscenity laced phone calls, including one threatening to burn the church down. A sign describing the church's message as "hate" was nailed to the church's fence, while additional hostile signs were laid against the fence with rainbow balloons attached to it.
All references to same gender marriage were removed from the parish's billboard Wednesday morning.
The Catholic Action League characterized the episode as "compelling evidence clearly demonstrating which side in the conflict over same sex marriage engages in hate tactics."
"At a time when homosexual pride parades monopolize public thoroughfares with police protection, it is now unsafe to post a message upholding traditional morality on private property. This event tells us all we need to know about the totalitarian instincts of organized homosexualism in America. What began as a so-called 'gay rights' movement, has become a neo-fascist enterprise dedicated to suppressing, harassing, censoring, silencing and punishing anyone supportive of biblical morality," said Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle.
He also said Attorney General Martha Coakley and Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter should investigate the threats against Saint Francis Xavier Parish for possible prosecution as hate crimes.