Metropolitan Community Church Pastor Rick Sosbe unfolds a rainbow flag in his office, but it’s what happened to a similar flag outside his church that has him sad and angry.
“I noticed the flag pole was laying over and the flag was no where to be found,” said Sosbe.
Sosbe says he put the flag up after the Supreme Court’s decision to allow same sex marriage in all 50 states.
If he looks familiar, WJBF News Channel 6 was the only TV station to document the moments Sosbe and his partner became the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in Richmond County.
He believes the flag theft was retaliation.
Sosbe explained, “I believe it was more than coincidence that someone would vandalize our flag and steal our flag and damage our flagpole.”
WJBF News Channel 6’s Deon Guillory asked Sosbe, “Do you believe it’s a hate crime?”
Sosbe answered, “I believe it is a hate crime.”
The person responsible may never get charged with a hate crime.
According to Georgia Equality, Georgia is one of only five states that does not have a state hate crimes law.
It’s not just sexual orientation.
Religion and race also fall under that.
At least three predominately black churches, including one in Macon, are being investigated as Arson.
Sosbe says he refuses to live in fear and has this message for the thief.
“Can we have a conversation? can we sit and talk about what motivates you to do this?” Sosbe asked.
The hate crime charge would be decided by the District Attorney’s office.
Reverend Sosbe says his church is in the process of getting a bigger pole to put right here in front of the church and plans to put up the flag once again.