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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Saint Paul Catholic Church in Lexington is supporting the LGBTQ community this Pride Month.

For the past few years, the church has put out a sign welcoming in the LGBTQ community. But, this year for Pride Month they wanted to make that message even more loud and clear.

“Come out and come in.” Those words hang outside of the church on West Short Street.

Stan “JR” Zerkowski wanted to send this message for pride month so people feel welcomed and loved. The church has a history of reaching out to marginalized groups like immigrants, refugees, and the LGBTQ community.

In the past, Catholic churches have pushed some people away, but not at St. Paul. Zerkowski says that’s the opposite of what the Catholic Church teaches because all are welcome to worship.

“The catechism of the Catholic Church says the LGBTQ or gay people are to be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” Zerkowski said. “Well, pastorally, how do we do that? How do we be respectful and compassionate and a sensitive church?”

Zerkowski says he has gotten some negative feedback for his signs in the past, but, overall, the response is mostly positive.

Zerkowski and leaders at St. Paul will also be at this year’s Pride festival once again. That is scheduled for October because of the pandemic.