NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Atlah Church in Harlem is known for its anti-gay messages. Now a group that helps homeless LGBT youth wants to buy the church’s building.
“To allow our young people to be cared for and protected in a place where they’ve been exposed to such cruelty and hatred, it would be symbolically a great triumph,” Carl Siciliano, executive director of The Ali Forney Center, told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
“We certainly anticipate that we could provide a long-term housing program there for as many as 20 young people,” he added.
The sign outside the church has been known to display messages such “JESUS WOULD STONE HOMOS” and “HARLEM IS A SODOMITE FREE ZONE.”
The Ali Forney Center is trying to raise money to buy the building, located three blocks from its drop-in center. There could be an auction because the church owes $1 million in unpaid water and sewer bills.