Two days after Kingston city council supported a ban on conversion therapy, over a dozen rainbow flags were placed outside Third Day Worship Centre.
The Kingston, Ont., church has been accused of practicing conversion therapy, and videos have circulated online of the pastor delivering anti-LGBTQ2 sermons.
On Thursday morning, Caitlyn Telford was driving by the church on Sydenham Rd. when she witnessed the multi-coloured flags scattered near the church property.
Telford says she began attending services at the church when she was 10 years old, and in November, after 19 years, she walked away from the congregation.
“The reason why I left is I don’t want my daughter thinking that gay is wrong,” said Telford.
Her decision to leave the church comes after a Global News investigation into Third Day Worship Centre, in which multiple former LGBTQ2 members said they went through dangerous fasting, exorcism-type ceremonies, isolation, excommunication and shunning at the church because of their sexuality.
Telford’s decision to cut ties with the church came two months after Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson left Third Day Worship Centre.
Paterson said he wanted his departure to signal his commitment to representing the entire community — which led to the mayor seconding a motion to support Bill C-6, the federal bill that would ban conversion therapy.
“I see this motion as a chance for council, and also for me, to take a stand against something that is wrong, but also make a stand on something that is right — in this case, an inclusive community,” said Paterson during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Telford praised Paterson’s decision and said she looks up to him as not only a community leader, but a father and husband.
“By him stepping down from Third Day wasn’t a hit on him, it was out of respect for our community,” said Telford. “He’s amazing all around.
“Let’s be honest. He’s done some good for this community.”
It is still unclear as to where the flags came from.
Third Day Worship Centre has yet to respond to Global News’ request for comment and the City of Kingston says they’ve reached out to Bell Canada about the placement of the flag on one of the company’s communications poles.