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Facing Prison For Demonstrating at Homosexual Event in Philadelphia-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor The eRumor says that
quoting what the Bible has to say about homosexuality in public in
Philadelphia will be treated as a hate crime.
It describes the arrest of a group of Christians who were preaching
on a public sidewalk near OUTFEST, a homosexual event.
They were surrounded by a group known as PINK ANGELS who tried to
counter the Christians' preaching.
The Christians were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes.
On October 4, 2004, there was an
event in Philadelphia known as Outfest.
It is sponsored by Philly Pride Presents which also sponsors PrideDay
in June and WinterPride in Winter.
They are described as occasions during which lesbian, gay,
bi-sexual, and transgender communities come together to celebrate as
a whole and are designed to advance rights for the communities.
Under the sponsorship of a group called Repent America
several Christians appeared near the event preaching, praying, and
Their efforts were countered by a group known as The Pink Angels.
Supporters of the Christians say they were operating within their
constitutional right of free speech on public property and that it
was the Pink Angels who violated their rights.
Eleven of the Christians were arrested, but charges against 7 of
then were later dropped.
As of this writing, four of them are headed for trial on charges of
"criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation, and riot."
They have also been banned from doing evangelism within 100 yard of
any gay and lesbian event.
City officials say one of the Christians tried to interrupt a
performance at Outfest with his preaching and that the group
disobeyed a police order to move to the perimeter of Outfest to
Brian Fahling, the attorney representing the Christians says the
video tape does not show what the city alleges and, in fact, proves
that the Christians were operating within their rights.
Last updated 1/7/05
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
PENNSYLVANIA CHRISTIANS FACE 47 YEARS IN
PRISON FOR READING THE BIBLE IN PUBLIC
Philadelphia charges Christians with hate
crimes, inciting a riot, and using a deadly weapon.
Bill O'Reilly reported on the situation on Fox News
What we have been saying has now happened. You
cannot quote what the Bible has to say about homosexuality in
public or you will be charged with a "hate crime."
Philadelphia is only the beginning. If we fail to take a stand
here, this "crime" will soon be applied across
In the 27 years of this ministry, I have never witnessed a
more outrageous miscarriage of justice than what is happening
in Philadelphia. Four Christians are facing up to 47-years
in prison and $90,000 in fines for preaching the Gospel on a
public sidewalk, a right fully protected by the First
On October 10, 2004, the four Christians were arrested in
Philadelphia. They are part of Repent America. Along
with founder Michael Marcavage, members of Repent America—with
police approval--were preaching near Outfest, a
homosexual event, handing out Gospel literature and carrying
banners with Biblical messages.
When they tried to speak, they were surrounded by a group of
radical homosexual activists dubbed the Pink Angels. A
videotape of the incident shows the Pink Angels
interfering with the Christians’ movement on the street,
holding up large pink symbols of angels to cover up the
Christians' messages and blowing high pitched whistles to
drown out their preaching.
Rather than arrest the homosexual activists and allow the
Christians to exercise their First Amendment rights, the
Philadelphia police arrested and jailed the Christians!
They were charged with eight crimes, including three
felonies: possession of instruments of crime (a bullhorn),
ethnic intimidation (saying that homosexuality is a sin), and
inciting a riot (reading from the Bible some passages relating
to homosexuality) despite the fact that no riot occurred.
You may think I am exaggerating. I'm not. Our AFA
Center for Law and Policy is representing these four
individuals at no cost. We will take this case all the way to
the Supreme Court if necessary to get justice.
There is so much more about this case I don't have room for it
in this letter. We have prepared a 25-minute VHS/DVD in which
two AFA-CLP attorneys discuss the case in detail.
Please help us with our expenses in representing these
committed Christians. With your tax-deductible gift of $15,
less than the cost of a cup of coffee once a month for the
next year, we will send your choice of either the VHS or DVD.
Watch the VHS/DVD, then share it with your Sunday school class
and church. This VHS/DVD should be required viewing in every
church in America.