Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Philadelphia Judges Rule Homosexual Rights Trump Christian Message

Judges say Gospel not permitted to be heard when homosexuals proclaim "that we're out and proud of who we are"

Read the liberal media report excerpts, then read the facts as presented by the Christians (backed up by their video)

-- From "Antigay group couldn't disrupt Phila. event, court rules" by Emilie Lounsberry, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer 7/16/08

Anti-homosexual activists arrested during Philadelphia's 2004 OutFest celebration had a First Amendment right to demonstrate but not to disrupt the coming-out festival, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit came in a lawsuit brought by 11 protesters affiliated with Repent America, a Lansdowne group whose members preach that homosexuality is sinful.

. . . the Third Circuit said Philadelphia police "had ample justification" in directing the protesters to move when they "interfered" with event activities.

"The police action was not based on the content of [the activists'] message but on their conduct," wrote Judge Dolores K. Sloviter, who said a video showed the Repent America group had tried to "drown out" platform speakers and congregated in the middle of the walkway.

Philly Pride had a permit for the event, and contended that it had a right to exclude the antigay activists.

And now, a look at some facts . . .

-- From "Court says 'gay' rights trump Christian rights" © 2008 WorldNetDaily 7/18/08

Ted Hoppe, a lawyer allied with the Alliance Defense Fund, had argued in the appeal that, "Speech cannot be silenced simply because another person or group does not agree with it. City officials must be held accountable for their decision to violate the First Amendment rights of Christians who wanted nothing more than to engage in peaceful assembly on a public street."

Members of the "Philadelphia 11" as the group is known, were arrested Oct. 10, 2004, after quoting the Bible and expressing their views against homosexual behavior on a public street during "OutFest," a publicly funded celebration of homosexual choices.

They were jailed overnight in the case, but a judge later dismissed any criminal counts as having no basis in fact. The individuals then filed the damage lawsuit against the city.

"It is without question that Judge Stengel's decision has set a precedent to eliminate the First Amendment rights of others by citing that a 'permitting scheme' can be used by police and event organizers to 'exclude persons expressing contrary messages' in public areas and at public events," Marcavage said earlier.

The video of the actual arrest has been posted on YouTube [CLICK HERE]

According to Repent America, the Christians on that day "were confronted by a militant mob of homosexuals known as the 'Pink Angels' who blew loud whistles and carried large pink signs in front of them to block their message and access to the event, while others screamed obscenities."

"The Philadelphia police, under the direction of Chief Inspector James Tiano, the city's 'police liaison to the gay and lesbian community,' refused to take any action as the Christians were continuously followed, obstructed, and harassed, even though they respectfully cooperated with police, obeying orders to move, short of being directed out of the event."

"We believe that a review of the video footage of the event clearly shows that the Philly 11 went out of their way to be cooperative and not be disruptive themselves. The only disruption that occurred, if any, was due to the crowd's reaction to the message that the Philly 11 was conveying," Hoppe said.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.