Local pastor asks Governor to protect his religious freedom

Local pastor asks Governor to protect his religious freedom
SOCASTEE, SC (WMBF) - For pastor Darren Squires, a single piece of paper sums up all of his feelings about one big issue.
The longtime pastor with the Socastee Original Freewill Baptist Church wrote a letter just a few weeks ago and mailed it to the Governor's office.
In that letter, he asks Governor Haley to sign an executive order that protects his right to follow his religious beliefs.
His biggest point of contention was his right to not hold services for many folks within the LGBTQ community.

"It doesn't matter if a man goes with a man, that's his choice, explained Squires. My problem, is they're going to try and make us, who do not believe in that, have to bow down and accept them."

Squires says his church currently welcomes any gay or transgender person, but makes it clear to them, it's not something he supports.
He says he's ashamed local churches are bowing down to them, and ashamed Governor Haley is too.
Squires says this executive order should be considered so he can act on his religious beliefs, without feeling backlash.

"We're trying to protect the church from being sued for standing what we believe, He said.

"Who are we to say people don't need the lord? asked Reverend Joseph Washington with Hope Church. They need the lord just like everyone else."

Washington is one of the many local pastors who doesn't agree with Squires' idea.
He says the church should not be turning anyone away. It should instead be opening its doors, just as he believes the Lord would have wanted it.

For us, being exclusive versus inclusive, based on everything I have learned, and prayed about, and studied about, is totally antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, He said.

We reached out to Governor Haley's office to see where she stands on the issue. We have yet to hear back.