Foul homophobes lap up church being burned to ashes by lightning strike

A firefighter at Whitechapel

A Massachusetts church engulfed by fire was not holding a same-sex wedding at the time, despite speculation on social media.

Twitter has been flooded with claims that the First Congregational Church in the town of Spencer, about 50 miles east of Boston, burned down during a “homosexual wedding ceremony”.

Some gleefully claimed there were no survivors, suggesting the blaze was God’s vengeance for supposed LGBTQ+ sin.

However, the church wasn’t even open at the time, according to AP news.

About 100 firefighters, from 18 departments, tackled the blaze on 2 June, which broke out at about 2.30pm.

You may like to watch

The cause of the fire was determined by investigators as a lightning strike, Jake Wark, a spokesman for the state department of fire services, confirmed in an e-mail seen by The Boston Globe.

The church is pro-LGBTQ+ and has openly supported Pride month, perhaps fuelling the false reports.

It appears the homophobic conspiracy was spread via WhatsApp before being shared across Twitter.

Spencer’s church moderator, Harold Carlson, told the Globe he was devastated by the loss of the 160-year-old building. He hopes to open a basketball court for local children once the site is cleared, in a bid to continue giving back to the community. 

“It’s a community staple. I like to see the kids have a place to come back to,” he said.

“Even though the church isn’t here, we want the community to know that we’re still looking out for them.”

The natural disaster hit following the Human Rights Campaign having declared a national “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ people in the US for the first time in its history.