Adolfo Martinez, 30, was sent to prison in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, over the disturbance at Ames United Church on June 11. He snatched the banner from outside the area of worship – whose pastor Eileen Gebbie is herself gay – then torched it outside a lap dancing club designated Dangerous Curves.
He was given the lengthy sentence after being convicted of a felony hate offense, third-degree harassment, and wild use of fire. Adolfo was totally unrepentant about his response when interviewed by TV station KCCI in June, alleging his hate was God’s work.
He said: ‘It’s my honor. It is formulated. It is a judgment and it’s written to execute revenge on the heathen and punishments on the people. ‘It’s my honor to do so. It was an honor to do that. It’s a favor from the Lord.’ Asked if he was specifically targeting people because of their homosexuality. Martinez added: ‘Yes, yes, yes. Exactly. ‘I fired down their pride, plain and simple…I’m guilty as charged.’
Prosecutor Jessica Reynolds said Martinez had been filled with a hate crime because he was motivated by others ‘physical orientation.’ Pastor Gebbie hailed a jury’s verdict to convict Martinez last month, telling the Des Moines Register: ‘I often underwent Ames as not being as progressive as many people think it is, and they’re still is a very large closeted queer community here.
‘But 12 people that I don’t know, who have no investment in me or this gathering, said this man committed a crime, and it was crime borne of bigotry and hate.’